Why Reelection Would Embolden Bolsonaro Even More

By Oliver Stuenkel

Recent history shows that authoritarian-leaning leaders become much more aggressive after winning reelection.

SÃO PAULO — Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro has been catching up in the polls with his main rival, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, ahead of the October presidential elections. He still trails, but the election is set to be competitive. Brazil's democracy has largely withstood his authoritarian tendencies so far, but the recent experiences of other nations show that a second Bolsonaro term would likely do far more damage than the first. Anti-establishment figures with authoritarian tendencies tend to be much more aggressive after reelection. Even Hugo Chávez didn’t truly undermine...

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