The Invisible Seen!

Impeachment trial against Bolsonaro will not proceed

A detrimental permanence for Brazil.

Impeachment trial against Bolsonaro will not proceed for an elementary reason: he still has the political majorities in Congress, the filter in his favor.


Impeachment trial against Bolsonaro will not proceed, although his government entails the deepening of Brazil’s health, economic and political crisis.

The following is a written version of the international analyst’s interview.

Juan Alberto Sánchez Marín for the international channel Hispantv, broadcast on July 2, 2021.

A democracy that has not been reestablished

Brazil has a remarkable record in terms of declaring presidential impeachments, which is what ‘impeachment’ means in Spanish. However, I do not see it so simple for the measure to proceed in the case of President Jair Bolsonaro.

This was a measure that worked in the cases of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff, mainly because they did not have control in the Senate and the House of Representatives.

Efforts have been made to reestablish democracy in Brazil since 1988. Since then, the country has not emerged from the political crisis. The figure of impeachment has always been a “sword of Damocles” hanging over the heads of presidents.

What happens is that it hangs by a thin thread when it is a progressive president, and by a thick noose when it is a far-right one. And what determines the thickness of that rope is not the popular will, but the support the president has in Congress. In Bolsonaro’s case, support is still strong.

So Lula and Dilma were impeached in dizzying processes, without the slightest relevance, without evidence, or with false evidence, as later proved. In reality, these were political trials, and in reality they were disguised coups d’état.

Impeachment trial against Bolsonaro will not proceed

Now it is a different story, and I see it difficult for this process to move forward. Bolsonaro has the clear and total support of the president of the Chamber of Deputies, Mr. Arthur Lira. And of the president of the Senate, and, in addition, he has majorities in both chambers.

That is why I believe that the impeachment against Bolsonaro will not proceed. There are compromises and pre-established arrangements that, unless something unpredictable and big happens, keep Bolsonaro in the presidency.

This is something Bolsonaro boasts about, openly and publicly, while vehemently attacking the Supreme Federal Court (STF), which is the highest court of Justice in the country.

The decisive pressure against Lira

However, the brazenness with which Bolsonaro has acted, his disdain and arrogance, have caused some parties, which even supported him, to begin to question him.

We are talking about eleven political parties that coincide in the request for the impediment. And the recent accusations originate from within his own government. Bolsonaro, too, is accused of 23 crimes. Many of them, of course, related to the bad management of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This, together with the intense demonstrations and social mobilization, could perhaps put pressure for the opening of the trial in the legislature. The question, in the end, depends on how much his unconditional allies will be able to withstand the pressure exerted by so many adverse winds.

The pressure on Arthur Lira, of course, the president of the Chamber of Deputies, who is the definitive filter and who was put there by Bolsonaro himself for a reason.

Growing unpopularity

In matters of local politics, it is quite complicated to make any kind of predictions that go beyond the same day.

Difficult, above all, in a politics based on political wheeling and dealing, which is what characterizes the use and abuse of politics in our region, in Latin America, without exception.

What is true is that it is necessary to take into account several factors that will surely make Bolsonaro’s political future very difficult and that will go against those ends.

To begin with, it must be said that the president has a popularity that is rather unpopular. The favorable voting intention for Bolsonaro is around 23%.

Convenient for Bolsonaro, inconvenient for Brazil

The death toll from the pandemic exceeds 520,000 and rising. More than eighteen million people are infected. His own allies and movements that made his triumph possible are disintegrating and withdrawing their support.

So I see Bolsonaro’s political future as very complex. And the more difficult Bolsonaro’s political future is, the better is the political future of the country.

Because it is clear, and these data confirm it daily, it is very clear that the permanence of Bolsonaro is as harmful for the country, for Brazil, as beneficial and convenient is his non-permanence, the non-prolongation of his populist and ultra-right political figure.

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