Tumult unfolds ahead of Brazil’s elections

Brazil's top presidential contenders, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (left) and Jair Bolsonaro.

Brazil’s most popular presidential contender, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva — “Lula” — has been barred from the ballot while he serves a 12-year sentence for corruption. As a result, the country faces the possibility of a demagogue dictator taking the reins, according to an article in The Washington Post that was co-written by Mount Holyoke Associate Professor of Politics and International Relations Andrew G. Reiter.

According to the analysis, as Brazil is still recovering from its worst recession in history, many voters have turned away from major political parties and toward far-right candidates. This puts the country at risk for following a pattern similar to Venezuela and others, where dictators have been democratically elected following the collapse of national parties. After Lula, the most popular candidate is Jair Bolsonaro, a former army captain who has promised a return to military rule if elected.

“In head-to-head matchups with other candidates, for example, Bolsonaro outpolls each of his potential rivals,” stated the article. “With Lula off the ballot, expect more turmoil from Brazil’s already chaotic political environment.”

[Eds. note: In the wake of a nearly fatal stabbing at a rally in early September, Bolsonaro is expected to be confined to his home or a hospital in the final weeks of the campaign. Opinion polls show his support growing.]

Read the article.  

Related News

Russian coins and paper currency

The global struggle to replace the dollar

Mount Holyoke assistant professor Christopher Mitchell talked to Forbes about the desire to replace the U.S. dollar as the world’s reserve currency. 

A map of Springfield, Mass. homes in receivership, as plotted by Mount Holyoke College students and staff.

Deconstructing a problematic housing program

Data collected by Mount Holyoke students has shown a major policy flaw in a program originally meant to fight housing blight.

Andrew G. Reiter, associate professor of politics and international relations, talks to NOVA.

Putin will not be held accountable

Andrew Reiter, associate professor at Mount Holyoke College, writes for Newsweek that Putin will not be tried for his war crimes in Ukraine. 

This is photo of David Hernandez

Immigration inequality in the U.S.

David Hernández, associate professor of Latina/o studies at Mount Holyoke, discusses the biases against Black and Muslim applicants for U.S. citizenship. 

Iyko Day

A history of hate

Iyko Day, associate professor of English at Mount Holyoke, comments on the marginalization of Chinese immigrants and the spa shooting that targeted Asians.

Find more stories >