- Brazil’s presidential race is in chaos with the country’s most popular politician in jail
- Right-wing radical Jair Bolsonaro has emerged as a dark-horse candidate
- If Bolsonaro makes the runoff, he would likely be trounced by a left or center-right candidate
In the aftermath of a crippling nationwide truckers’ strike that lasted 10 days, blocking the country’s main roads and leading to shortages of basic goods, Brazilians are bracing for a bumpy ride over the next three months. On October 7, voters go to the polls to elect a new president, state governors, the entire Chamber of Deputies and two-thirds of the Senate. Given the public’s total disgust with the political class, how this turns out is anyone’s guess.
President Michel Temer, who took office in May 2016 when his predecessor Dilma Rousseff was impeached, became a lame duck last year, after he, too, was engulfed by corruption charges. In the aftermath of the strike, he is even weaker and less popular. Mr. Temer’s approval rating has fallen to 5 percent. After briefly flirting with the idea of reelection, he has acknowledged reality and given up.