Bolsonaro says it’s arrest or death. Sound familiar?

Ideas

Bolsonaro says it’s arrest or death. Sound familiar?

The appetite among our Brics friends for a democratic order has dissipated. SA alone stands firm – barely

Columnist

Brazil’s slimeball leader President Jair Bolsonaro has had crowds out on the streets recently to back him in his battle with the supreme court. With elections looming next year, he has been trying to deflect charges that he is responsible for thousands of deaths, in that he allegedly spread false information about Covid-19. He has likened the disease to the flu, but it has already claimed at least 600,000 lives there, second only to the US where you-know-who was in charge.

There was a time when Brazil was a model for how a developing country could combine democracy and economic growth, giving lie to the perception that only a sharp stomp of the jackboot in government could attract investment and inspire confidence. Bolsonaro, though elected, is openly hostile to Brazil’s liberal constitution, and regrets assenting to a law that stripped him of the power to fire the central bank governor. His erratic style and attacks on the country’s institutions have eroded confidence in the Brazilian project. Inflation is getting into its stride.

Closer to home, Bolsonaro’s scorched-earth tactics echo the strategy of one Jacob Zuma, who to avoid justice has so far trashed, and not in any order, the presidency, the law-enforcement establishment, parliament, the ANC, Eskom, Derek Hanekom, SAA, the Constitutional Court and the free republic he swore to serve, but which now serves him at great expense and inconvenience. That’s the long-run cost of trusting a man who couldn’t pay for his own car wash...

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