March 25th, 2022


1. Alckmin becomes a member of PSB and says Lula is Brazil’s hope

Former São Paulo State Governor Geraldo Alckmin has left the party he helped create 33 years ago – PSDB – to join PSB. Alckmin ran for President in 2018 and now joins PSB to run as the vice-presidential candidate on a slate with Lula (PT) as the presidential candidate.

Alckmin’s move – although seen as unusual by some – was expected. In a speech, Alckmin said that democracy in the country currently relies on Lula. He also criticized current President Jair Bolsonaro.

Folha de S. Paulo: Alckmin se filia ao PSB, saúda petistas e diz que Lula é esperança do Brasil
UOL: Alckmin cita Mário Covas e diz que Lula é fruto da democracia; veja frases

2. Lula leads with 43% of voting intentions against 29% for Bolsonaro in BTG poll

At the request of BTG Pactual, the polling institute FSB Pesquisa interviewed over 2,000 people about their voting intentions for the presidency of Brazil. The poll revealed that former President Lula (PT) is leading with 43% of voting intentions, against 29% for current President Jair Bolsonaro. The margin of error is 2 percentage points.

In third place is former minister Ciro Gomes (PDT), with 9% of voting intentions. He is followed by Sergio Moro (Podemos), with 8%. Current São Paulo Governor João Doria (PSDB), federal representative André Janones (Avante) and Rio Grande do Sul Governor Eduardo Leite (PSDB) are also on the list with 2% of voting intentions each.

UOL: BTG/FSB: Lula lidera com 43%; Bolsonaro tem 29%; Ciro, 9%, e Moro, 8%
Estado de S. Paulo: Antipetismo supera petismo, de acordo com pesquisa BTG/FSB

3. As 2022 is an electoral year, Bolsonaro’s motion to reduce the price of fuel is rejected

The Attorney General of Brazil, the government department responsible for taking care of legal matters for the federal government, presented a motion to the Superior Electoral Court (TSE) to reduce the tax aliquot on products and raw materials, specifically those affecting fuel prices. The motion was necessary due to Brazilian law stating that such a proposal can be considered part of a candidate’s campaign during an election year. The motion, which was submitted in early February, was unanimously rejected.

Folha de S. Paulo: TSE rejeita consulta de Bolsonaro sobre reduzir preço de combustível
Jota: Governo é visto como o maior culpado pelo aumento dos combustíveis, aponta pesquisa

4. Ministry of Education accused of controlling funds to aid Bolsonaro’s campaign

A crisis involving the Brazilian Ministry of Education broke out this week, due to the existence of a political counter for the release of funds from the National Fund for Education Development, responsible for allocating federal resources to municipalities. It was discovered that evangelical pastors who are not part of the administration had been given the power to decide how the National Fund for the Development of Education would be distributed. In doing so, they prioritized cities recommended by political groups that support President Jair Bolsonaro. The accusation was made by mayors and confirmed by Education Minister Milton Ribeiro in a leaked audio. Bolsonaro continues to claim that his administration is free of corruption.

Folha de S. Paulo: MEC vira balcão político sob Bolsonaro; entenda crise e seus envolvidos
Correio Brasiliense: MEC: Bolsonaro diz que nenhum ministério teve denúncia de corrupção
CBN: STF recebe pedido de Aras para investigar Milton Ribeiro por escândalo no MEC

5. Telegram unblocked in Brazil, but the company is yet to answer demands of the Electoral Court

The messaging app Telegram was blocked in Brazil earlier this week at the request of the Federal Police. On March 18th, Brazil demanded that the app ban profiles spreading fake news and send their personal information to the judicial system. The company did not respond, and the app was blocked in Brazil. Following the global reaction to the matter, Telegram founder Pavel Durov apologized and said that the email addresses the Brazilian justice system used to send the requests were not correct. After receiving the request, the company agreed to comply, and the app was unblocked. However, the situation is not over yet as Telegram has not accepted a request to partner with the Electoral Court in the fight against fake news during the election.

G1: Moraes determina bloqueio do aplicativo de mensagens Telegram em todo o Brasil
BBC: STF revoga bloqueio do Telegram após aplicativo atender às exigências da Justiça
Folha de S. Paulo: Fundador do Telegram pede desculpas ao STF e cita problema com emails
G1: Fachin cobra pela 3ª vez adesão do Telegram à parceria contra desinformação nas eleições