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Congressional Leadership Elections Today To Pit Lula Against Bolsonaro


Brazil's lawmakers will today elect leaders for the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies. Both chambers are expected to elect center-right incumbent leaders, who have indicated a willingness to work with President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and operate as a fulcrum between Lula's leftist administration and right-leaning Congress.

  • Bullet edited for clarity (17:23 GMT).
  • Focus is on a proxy contest in the Senate between Lula and former President Jair Bolsonaro. Lula has thrown his support behind incumbent leader Rodrigo Pacheco who is running against former Bolsonaro cabinet member Rogerio Marinho.
  • A Marinho victory would be a major blow for Lula’s legislative agenda which includes broad tax reform and a new fiscal anchor.
  • The Senate vote could go down to the wire with Pacheco tipped to win around 50 votes from the Senate’s 81 lawmakers, with a 41 vote simple majority required for victory.
  • Bolsonaro, speaking to his party from the United States, told his supporters that, “Marinho represents what Brazil wants in the senate: to rescue our values, the return of democracy, freedom, everything that we most preserve.”
  • In the lower house, incumbent Speaker Arthur Lira, of the center-right PP, is expected to win more comfortably. Lira, previously allied with Bolsonaro, was quick to recognise Lula’s victory and is seen as key to preventing impeachment legislation from pro-Bolsonaro lawmakers reaching the floor.
  • Voting, via secret ballot, will take place at 15:30 BST 1830 GMT for the lower House and 16:30 BST 1930 GMT for the upper house.

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