But that last day may come sooner than expected, with a majority of Brazilians for the first time in favor of lawmakers launching impeachment proceedings against their controversial leader, according to recent polling.
While impeachment is far from certain, a poll by Datafolha found 54% of Brazilians support a proposed move by lawmakers to open impeachment proceedings against Bolsonaro. The July poll also found 51% of Brazilians considered the Bolsonaro presidency “bad” or “awful.”
Bolsonaro’s government has been implicated in corruption allegations, resulting in a parliamentary inquiry into the government’s handling of the pandemic.
Meanwhile, the country is struggling through the devastating impact of its haphazard response to Covid-19.
“Many governors have closed everything. They have destroyed jobs, especially informal ones. We have around 38 million people in Brazil who live from day to day, who work in the morning to eat at night,” he said. “They have lost everything. If there wasn’t emergency aid by the federal government, these people would be condemned to starvation.”
During an interview with public network TV Brasil on Tuesday, Bolsonaro criticized the Brazilian press and congratulated his government’s handling of the pandemic.
“I have a clear conscience,” Bolsonaro said. “Brazil is one of the countries that has best behaved during the pandemic, period. Congratulations to Brazil. I thank my team of 22 ministers.”
Corruption investigations and inquiries
The Brazilian Senate inquiry into the government’s response may hobble Bolsonaro’s reelection bid if it leads to an impeachment proceeding or criminal charges.
While those outcomes are considered by political analysts to be unlikely, Bolsonaro’s future may depend on his ability to keep the peace with lawmakers responsible for such proceedings.
Senate opposition leader Randolfe Rodrigues said what started as an investigation into omissions and misconduct has now turned into a corruption inquiry.
Congressman Luis Miranda, a former ally of Bolsonaro, and his brother Luis Ricardo Miranda, a Ministry of Health employee, said they warned the President of irregularities in the contract, but he did nothing to resolve the issue. Bolsonaro told Radio Gaucha, “I can’t just, when anything comes to me, take action. I meet with more than 100 people a month.”
Speaking Sunday as he was being discharged from the hospital, Bolsonaro complained the CPI is too often accusing him of being corrupt. “Do you want to oust me from the government?” he said. “Only God (can) get me out of that chair. Didn’t they understand that only God takes me out of that chair? If there is any corruption in the government, I will be the first to find out and leave it in the hands of justice.”
He has accused the CPI of ignoring other allegations of corruption across Brazil to focus on him and his government. “They want to accuse me of genocide. Now, tell me in what country people have not died? This CPI has no credibility,” Bolsonaro said. The President added he is “sorry about the dead, but people who were healthy had little chance of dying.”
Political analyst Marco A. Teixeira told CNN that while unlikely, Bolsonaro may be at risk of impeachment. The Getulio Vargas University (FGV-SP) professor said while it’s not yet clear where the inquiry will lead, Bolsonaro’s government is compromised.