While Brazil’s general elections may have come to an end with the much-anticipated victory of right-wing candidate Jair Messias Bolsonaro of the Social Liberal Party (PSL), the significance for the “country of the future” is far from clear. Bolsonaro may have handedly won the run-off against his opponent, Fernando Haddad of the Workers’ Party (PT), but questions abound over his ability to govern and how quickly he can return Brazil to macroeconomic and political stability, if at all.
We conclude that Bolsonaro’s mandate is not nearly as strong as the vote totals suggest. As a result, generating economic growth, improving employment prospects and delivering early political “wins” in 2019 will be critical to sustaining a Bolsonaro presidency.
This is Part One of a two-part series on Brazil’s new president. Later this week we will share with you Part Two of our analysis, where we look at a range of specific scenarios to consider under President Bolsonaro.