Power

Bolsonaro can’t live with his vice president, and he can’t live without him

Vice President Hamilton Mourão has been on the outs with President Bolsonaro for over a year, but the retired Army general serves a crucial function for his boss, and seems unlikely to conspire against him

vice president Jair Bolsonaro and Hamilton Mourão share an uncomfortable embrace during a luncheon with Army officials. Photo: Marcos Corrêa/PR
Jair Bolsonaro and Hamilton Mourão share an uncomfortable embrace during a luncheon with Army officials. Photo: Marcos Corrêa/PR

When it quickly became clear that Brazil’s far-right President Jair Bolsonaro would not make a moderate shift after his election in 2018, members of the local press turned to his vice president, retired Army general Hamilton Mourão, as a “voice of reason” within the administration. So often the Brazilian public discourse suffers from short-term memory loss, however, with Mr. Mourão supporting the idea of a military coup in Brazil just one year before becoming President Bolsonaro’s running mate.

Now, however, with around a year and a half left in Mr. Bolsonaro’s presidential term, the “adult in the room”

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