Source: The Washington Post
SÃO PAULO — Corruption scandals that have landed several of Brazil’s leading politicians in prison have motivated voters to consider dark-horse candidates for next year’s presidential race. One of those, Congressman Jair Bolsonaro, who likens himself to President Trump, could find support from a key group: evangelicals, who have become politically powerful in recent years.
Bolsonaro, who represents Rio de Janeiro in the country’s House of Representatives, has had his own controversies. He has said he’d rather have a dead son than a gay son, and he once told a congresswoman she wasn’t worth raping. A former army parachutist, Bolsonaro praised the man who oversaw torture in the era of the Brazilian military regime when he justified his vote for impeachment of then-President Dilma Rousseff, who was tortured during that time.
Observers say that a widespread corruption probe involving politicians on both the right and the left has created an opening for nonestablishment candidates like Bolsonaro in Brazil, which is struggling to get out of a deep recession.
“Until recent months, the term ‘right wing’ was a bad word,” Bolsonaro told The Washington Post, noting his longstanding opposition to Communist and socialist programs. “Suddenly the term ‘right wing’ became accepted again in Brazil.”