Bolsonaro goes on trial
A powerful and immensely popular former right-wing American president went on trial Thursday, and it’s not Donald Trump. Jair Bolsonaro, who led Brazil from 2018 until he narrowly lost to his left-wing nemesis “Lula” da Silva in 2022, faces charges that he unfairly sought to sway voters in that election with baseless claims about problems with the country’s voting system.
If Bolsonaro is found guilty of that charge next week, as many expect he will be, he’ll be banned from holding public office for eight years. Keep an eye on the streets if that happens, as Bolsonaro is the country’s most powerful opposition leader, and his supporters already view the country’s political institutions as hopelessly rigged against him.
But in the longer term, even if he is sidelined from contesting the presidency directly in 2026, he’ll remain a powerful kingmaker in a deeply polarized country.