Brazil desperately needs reform
This appeared the Washington Post:
Brazil’s political elite is being eaten alive by corruption scandals. The last three presidents have been accused of taking bribes, including incumbent Michel Temer, who took office last year following the impeachment of his predecessor. The ever-expanding scandal is a credit to the strength of Brazil’s judicial institutions, and the housecleaning it is producing could ultimately strengthen the country’s 32-year-old democracy. But that might not happen if the scandal leads to chaos before it can produce desperately needed reforms. The 76-year-old Temer, an uncharismatic conservative with a 5 per cent public approval rating, now stands at the centre of that question.
Temer and a centrist congressional coalition were in the middle of trying to push through a revamping of social security payments and labour laws when the latest wave of scandal broke over them May 19.
Whether Temer now becomes the second Brazilian president to be removed from office in less than a year depends less on the evidence than the intricacies of politics in Congress and the courts. Regardless of who is president, Brazil will have a government of dubious legitimacy until the next election, which is not until the end of 2018.
The best outcome for the country would be for the centrist parties to work with whoever is in office to complete passage of the now-stalled reform bills.