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Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro gives a press statement in Brasilia.

Reuters

What We’re Watching: Bolsonaro's broken silence, Iranian attack plans, Bibi’s return, Colombia & Venezuela’s lunch date

Bolsonaro lets his friend say the hard part

In a prepared and combative statement lasting less than two minutes, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Tuesday did not concede the election he lost on Sunday. He also failed to congratulate — or even mention — his opponent, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. Instead, he welcomed ongoing nationwide protests by pro-Bolsonaro truckers, saying they’re the result of a “feeling of indignation and injustice about how the elections were conducted.” He cast himself as a person who plays by the constitutional rules and said he was proud to have stood for freedom of markets, religion, and expression. “The right has truly risen in Brazil,” he said. After Bolsonaro walked off without taking questions, one of his closest allies stepped up to the podium to say Bolsonaro had in fact authorized him to begin the presidential transition. As that legal and logistical process gets underway, we are watching closely to see how far Bolsonaro pushes the popular protests to try to gain political leverage. Bolsonaro lost to former President Lula by the narrowest electoral margin in Brazil’s modern history. Buckle up.

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Brazilian Politics: Surprisingly Stable | Quick Take | GZERO Media

Brazilian politics: surprisingly stable

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take: Hi everybody. Ian Bremmer here. A Quick Take to kick off your week. There's so much that we could talk about, but we just had elections in Brazil, and as expected, Lula will be the next president of the largest economy in South America. We haven't yet heard anything from Jair Bolsonaro. That, of course, is an open question, just how much he wants to be an election denier, how much disruption he wants to bring about. But there's no question that we are going to see that transition.

Now, not a big surprise here. Lula's been polling ahead consistently over the course of the past months, though it was a tighter race, ultimately only a 1.9% split between the two candidates, a couple million votes, which had been tightening over the course of the last few weeks. In part, that's because Bolsonaro did a better job towards the end of electioneering. In part, the economy was getting a little bit better in Brazil. But also, keep in mind, generally speaking, polls underestimate the support you'll get for anti-establishment populace. And one big reason for that is because if you really don't believe in institutions, you are not likely to tell pollsters who you're going to vote for. You know why? Because you don't trust them. Now, the good news is a lot of people that really believe in conspiracy theories don't even bother to vote. But nonetheless, if they are going to vote, they're probably not going to talk to pollsters about it. So you do get a bit of that shy, radical populous turnout that did happen this time around, but not enough to make a difference.

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A Lula supporter watches the presidential runoff election results in Brasilia.

REUTERS/Diego Vara

What We’re Watching: Lula wins Brazilian nail-biter, Russia kills Ukraine grain deal

Lula wins a tight victory in Brazil

Former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva will return to the top job in Brazil after winning the runoff election against sitting President Jair Bolsonaro on Sunday. It was, as expected, a very close contest: with 99% of the ballots in, Lula got 50.83% of the vote compared to Bolsonaro's 49.17%.

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A man walks past Brazilian presidential campaign materials showing candidates Lula and Bolsonaro in Brasilia.

REUTERS/Adriano Machado

Brazil smackdown: Lula vs. Bolsonaro, final round

It’s a presidential election between two bitter rivals, each with tens of millions of supporters who see the other as a threat to democracy itself. Sound familiar? It’s not the 2024 US election just yet. No, it’s this Sunday’s presidential smackdown – er, runoff – in Brazil.

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Is Rishi Sunak the Solution to UK’s Economic Crisis? | World In :60 | GZERO Media

Rishi Sunak vs UK economic crisis

Ian Bremmer shares his insights on global politics this week on World In 60 Seconds.

Can new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak fix the United Kingdom?

No. Fix is aggressive. Right? But can he stabilize it? I think he can move in that direction, certainly not in the next few months because you know the economic crisis is real. The hole is deep. Energy prices are massive, and the UK's not prepared for it. But the orientation of UK fiscal policy is going to be very much more in line with what the markets want. They have been punishing the UK and Liz Truss dramatically from all of these. The giveaways that were being planned, many to the rich, and none of which were going to be funded. A more constrained fiscal environment is what Rishi is going to be putting in place. Of course, the UK population may not be happy about that at all. What he can do for his own future and the Conservative Party is a much bigger hole, frankly, than where the UK is going.

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Presidential campaign materials displayed in Rio de Janeiro.

REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes

Brazil: “Whoever gets the most votes will win, period.”

Brazil is now just two months away from its most pivotal, polarizing and potentially destabilizing presidential election in decades.

The country’s current far-right president Jair Bolsonaro is likely to face off against his nemesis, the leftist former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

Bolsonaro, who trails badly in the polls, has spent months raising baseless doubts about the integrity of Brazil’s centralized electronic voting system. Ominously, some members of the military have echoed those concerns, raising the prospect either of January 6 style violence after the vote, or a move by the military to interfere with the transfer of power. After all, just days ago, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin warned Brasilia to ensure that the military is fully under control ahead of the Oct. 2 vote.

To better understand what’s at stake and why things feel so on edge in Brazil right now, we sat down with Silvio Cascione, a director in Eurasia Group’s Brazil practice. The interview has been lightly edited for concision and clarity.

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Ousted Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan travels on a vehicle to lead a protest march in Islamabad, Pakistan.

REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro

What We're Watching: Imran Khan's threat, a looming global recession, Bolsonaro-Biden meeting

Imran Khan issues dangerous ultimatum

Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Imran Khan – booted from the top job last month by a parliamentary no-confidence vote – has called on the country’s nascent government to hold new elections within six days or risk full-blown social upheaval. For weeks, Khan has been whipping supporters of his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Party into a frenzy, saying his ouster was perniciously orchestrated by Washington in conjunction with the newly minted PM Shehbaz Sharif. (Khan, of course, fails to acknowledge that his removal was in large part a reflection of dissatisfaction with the country’s imploding economy and dwindling foreign reserves.) Things got really bad this week when Khan led his supporters in a march from his home turf of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province toward Islamabad. As throngs of angry PTI supporters tried to reach the capital, violent clashes with police ensued in multiple cities. The Supreme Court ordered police to remove barriers on highways that were preventing pro-Khan protesters from reaching Islamabad but said that protests in the capital needed to be confined to a specific area. That didn’t happen, and police responded to the violence and disorder with tear gas. This turmoil comes as Sharif is trying to convince the International Monetary Fund that Pakistan has gotten its act together to get funding back on track. Khan isn’t backing down, and the next week could be deadly.

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Lula attends a news conference after meeting with the Rede Sustentabilidade party in Brasilia.

REUTERS/Andressa Anholete

Can Bolsonaro win re-election after all?

With just six months left before Brazil’s presidential election, former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva officially launched his campaign Saturday for the country’s top job. A highly celebrated politician, Lula seeks to lead Latin America’s largest democracy at a tumultuous time amid fears over authoritarianism and a rising cost of living.

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