One of Brazil’s leading conservative newspapers has called for the removal of the country’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, as public outrage over his response to the coronavirus and corruption dragged the right-wing populist’s ratings to an all-time low.
“Jair Bolsonaro is no longer in a position to remain in the presidency”, the State of São Paulo declared on Sunday, as polls showed that for the first time a majority of citizens supported impeachment and considered their leader incapable of governing.
Bolsonaro, a former paratrooper and admirer of Donald Trump, took office in January 2019, using social media to present himself as an anti-system rebel fighting corruption who had come to drain Brazil’s swamp. Critics have long questioned that image, pointing to relentless allegations of low-level corruption and mob ties that have persecuted Bolsonaro’s family.
Anger appears to have spread throughout Brazil’s electorate in recent weeks, largely thanks to the unfolding scandal over alleged corrupt Covid vaccine deals and Bolsonaro’s handling of the Covid-19 outbreak in the country. which has killed more than 530,000 people.
“This is the worst moment for Jair Bolsonaro. He is melting away and the idea that people have of him is melting, ”said Eliane Cantanhêde, a political columnist for the State of São Paulo, who said that a congressional investigation had exposed the president’s“ crude and absurd ”pandemic response. .
Another important newspaper, the Folha de São Paulo, saying on Saturday that Bolsonaro, who has faced a wave of recent protests, it was suffering “a large-scale image collapse.”
The newspaper’s polling division, Datafolha, said 54% of Brazilians thought they should be indicted, up from 49% in May, and 63% believed they were incapable of governing, down from 58%. Most voters considered their president “dishonest, insincere, incompetent.” unsuspecting, indecisive, authoritarian and dark “, Leaf to the left.
Perhaps most troubling for Bolsonaro was the finding that 59% of voters would not back him under any circumstances in next year’s election, when he hopes to secure a second four-year term.
The Datafolha poll suggests that former left-wing president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva would defeat Bolsonaro in the 2022 race, with a 20-point gap between the two. “It will be the Brazilian people who free themselves from Bolsonaro,” Lula told The Guardian recently after regaining his political rights.
The growing calls from the right for Bolsonaro’s impeachment appear in part fueled by conservative anguish over Lula’s return. Some on the right who oppose the president believe that the only way to block the left’s path to power is to overthrow Bolsonaro and pit Lula against a less divisive right-wing candidate.
Bolsonaro appears to be feeling the pressure, apparently trying to distract himself from the Covid crisis and corruption allegations with a series of undemocratic outbursts in which he has baselessly questioned the Brazilian voting system.
“Either we have clean elections or we won’t have them,” Bolsonaro declared last week before calling the head of the higher electoral court an idiot.
“Everything is going against Bolsonaro and he is reacting badly,” Cantanhêde said, adding that it was unclear whether his attacks on democracy were “mere ravings” or part of a genuine plot to cling to power with the support of some elements. of the armed forces.
The State of São Paulo, which did not oppose Bolsonaro’s election Despite his long history of undemocratic rhetoric, he savagely attacked this “explicit threat” to Brazilian democracy. He called the president “a spoiled child … tormented by a succession of moral, political, criminal and administrative misfortunes.”
“Threats to our institutions and democracy must stop,” the newspaper said, urging the head of the lower house, Arthur Lira, to initiate an impeachment process, something that analysts believe remains unlikely.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism