Power

Bending the rules to counter rule-bending Bolsonaro

Brazil's Supreme Court could approve a change of congressional rules as a way to stop Jair Bolsonaro's "penchant for authoritarianism"

controlling Bolsonaro Senate President Davi Alcolumbre (L) and House Speaker Rodrigo Maia. Photo: Marcos Corrêa/PR
Senate President Davi Alcolumbre (L) and House Speaker Rodrigo Maia. Photo: Marcos Corrêa/PR

Jair Bolsonaro is an easy target for politicians and detractors. The Brazilian president is crass, uncultivated, and is usually seen defending the indefensible — such as supporting the rollback of environmental controls in the Amazon, shrugging at the deaths of over 100,000 people from the coronavirus, or threatening to launch a self-coup. Mr. Bolsonaro actively tries to undermine democratic institutions and his actions have given other political actors in Brazil something of carte blanche to bend the rules to their self-interest, providing the justification is to “counter Jair Bolsonaro.”

On the grounds of containing the president’s “

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