Brazilian elections marked by ‘profound voter anger,’ says Baker Institute expert

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David Ruth713-348-6327david@rice.edu
Jeff Falk713-348-6775jfalk@rice.edu
Brazilian elections marked by ‘profound voter anger,’ says Baker Institute expert Sabatini: ‘Brazilian citizens are rejecting their political system’
HOUSTON – (Sept. 19, 2018) – In advance of next month’s presidential elections in Brazil, “No one has put forward a plan and clearly Brazilian voters are in no mood to discuss tough decisions,” according to a Latin America expert at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy.
Credit: 123RF.com/Rice University
Christopher Sabatini, a nonresident fellow with the Baker Institute’s Latin America Initiative and Mexico Center, is available to discuss the elections with the news media.
“After a decade of being one of the darlings of the international business and diplomatic community, Brazil appears to have run off the rails,” Sabatini wrote in a blog post for the Baker Institute. “The confluence of economic troubles and political uncertainty is a toxic cocktail that threatens not only the country’s laudable economic gains but its democracy.”
After experiencing an average annual growth rate of 4.05 percent in the decade between 2004 and 2013, Brazil experienced a recession in which the economy contracted by an average of 2.17 percent annually between 2014 and 2016, Sabatini said.
“In the midst of this, and not coincidentally, Brazil’s political system entered a meltdown, first with the revelation of the massive corruption scandal Lava Jato, later with the impeachment of then-President Dilma Rousseff over budgeting matters unrelated to the corruption revelations, and last a badly splintered presidential field and profound voter anger heading into the Oct. 7 congressional and presidential elections,” Sabatini wrote.
The leader in a crowded presidential field is a former army captain and congressman, Jair Bolsonaro, who has “promised an iron fist against criminals, pined for the military’s return to politics and mocked women, the human rights community and homosexuals,” Sabatini wrote. “ …

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