Latin America Advisor

A Daily Publication of The Dialogue

What Will Joining a New Party Mean for Brazil’s Bolsonaro?

On Tuesday, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro formally joined the country’s Liberal Party ahead of his re-election bid next year. On Tuesday, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro formally joined the country’s Liberal Party ahead of his re-election bid next year.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Nov. 10 agreed to be the candidate for the centrist Liberal Party in the 2022 presidential elections, following two years of governing as an independent after breaking with the far-right Social Liberal Party. Bolsonaro’s announcement came on the same day that Sergio Moro, a former justice minister and the renowned judge behind the “Car Wash” corruption investigation, joined another centrist party, Podemos, and expressed interest in running for president. What does Bolsonaro’s joining the Liberal Party mean for his re-election campaign, and does it signal a shift in his politics toward the center? How would Moro’s potential candidacy change the electoral landscape, and would he stand a chance against Bolsonaro and former leftist President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who is also expected to run?

Anya Prusa, senior director of the Americas Practice at the Albright Stonebridge Group: “With 10 months until the first round of the presidential election, the political jockeying has begun in earnest. Former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is reportedly considering former rival Geraldo Alckmin as a running mate. Former Operation Car Wash judge and justice minister Sergio Moro joined the Podemos party and is openly mulling a ‘third way’ run that could crowd out less competitive challengers. On Tuesday, President Jair Bolsonaro formally joined the center-right Liberty Party (PL) of the powerful Centrão coalition, after two years as an independent. It is a pragmatic marriage for political survival, rather than an indication of the president moving to the political center. Despite his anti-establishment campaign in 2018, Bolsonaro has come to rely on the Centrão for the passage of his agenda and protection from impeachment …”

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