What Brazil’s local elections could mean for Bolsonaro’s political future

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11/18/2020

On Sunday, in the midst of a pandemic, Brazil voted to choose city councilors and mayors. The results show a confusing electoral scenario in which the so-called Centrão (Big Center), composed of parties without much ideological alignment, gained ground. Meanwhile, the far right, led by President Jair Bolsonaro, retreated and the left underwent a great internal realignment, with traditional candidacies giving way to younger politicians with identity-based agendas; progressive candidates, especially Black women and LGBT candidates, saw surprising growth. It is telling that two of the country’s biggest political parties, the Brazilian Democratic Movement (MDB) and the Workers Party (PT), suffered considerable defeats. Also notable is that Bolsonaro supported candidates scattered through many parties, but failed to elect the majority of those for whom he campaigned.

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