Power

One governor’s race foreshadows complicated election dynamics Brazil will face

Political mess in Alagoas state could have important lessons for the general elections, as House Speaker Arthur Lira flexes his electoral muscles in his home state

One governor's race foreshadows complicated election dynamics Brazil will face
Supreme Court Chief Justice Luix Fux (left) and Justice Gilmar Mendes. The former suspended Alagoas’ indirect election. The latter suspended the suspension. Photo: Pedro Ladeira/Folhapress

The northeastern Brazilian state of Alagoas has been without a governor for more than a month. Home to little more than 1 percent of the national population, political developments in Alagoas typically have no bearing on the wider Brazilian context, but the state’s current muddle could hold important lessons for October’s general elections and the months that follow, particularly with regard to House Speaker Arthur Lira.

On April 2, former Governor Renan Filho resigned from his post — an electoral requirement in Brazil — to run for a seat in the Senate later this year. Under normal circumstances, Lieutenant Governor...

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