Now he needs to transform himself into heir of the anti-corruption legacy
The destiny of Brazil’s former justice minister Sérgio Moro, who resigned last week, is to run for president in 2022. To be competitive, he needs to appropriate the mantle of anti-corruption, anti-PT superhero that led to Bolsonaro’s win in 2018.
Moro’s first move was flawless: his resignation press conference took precise aim at the president: denouncing Bolsonaro’s populism and opportunism; accusing him of breaking his agreement to give Moro carte blanche in appointments; and reporting constant pressure to interfere in investigations, and appoint police chiefs aligned with Bolsonaro’s political agenda.
His message: the State had become an engine to serve the aims of the president, not the nation.
Cozying up to the corrupt center
Moro also insinuated that Bolsonaro’s capriciousness, his volatile nature in not honoring agreements, and his excessive intervention in technical subjects, could take the country on a dangerous path.
His insinuation has grounds. Bolsonaro is indeed dangerously courting the rotten “Centrão” (“Big Centre”) cohort in Congress that runs on clientelism and exchange of favors – offering jobs and power to win votes.
This is the road that led Brazil to the massive crisis of the “Operation Car Wash” scandal.
Supreme Court inquiry
The face-off for the political legacy will not be fought only in politics.
The Attorney General, Augusto Aras, has asked the Supreme Court for an inquiry to investigate the accusations against Bolsonaro in Moro’s resignation speech.
This indicates that Brazil will re-live the political nightmare of the period that preceded the impeachment of Dilma Rousseff.
– In other words, as well as the economic crisis caused by the pandemic, Brazil will also have one more period of major political turbulence.
We expect this combination to harm the return of growth, and investors’ confidence. Prepare for difficult times.