Panel SA: With high rejection rate, Bolsonaro’s prospect of victory is zero, says investor

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Panel SA: With high rejection rate, Bolsonaro’s prospect of victory is zero, says investor

One of the first businessmen to support the PT in the 1980s and also one of the first to publicly criticize the Dilma Rousseff government, Lawrence Pih does not see any prospect of a Bolsonaro victory in this year’s election, but says he is concerned about the emergence of conflicts between the first and second round.

“With a clear authoritarian disposition, the reelection candidate has been insinuating that he will not accept a result that is not favorable to him. The people and institutions must remain vigilant and monitor every step, not allowing him to set the country on fire,” he says.

Bolsonaro’s behavior on 7 de Setembro, with his declaration that he is unbroken, was a display of explicit vulgarity, in Pih’s words. “The president hijacked a historic civic event that the nation should be proud of, turning it into a dirty election rally,” he says.

He claims that the next president will inherit a broken, disunited and unequal country and that he sees a ticking time bomb set to explode in 2023.

You, who were one of the first businessmen to support the PT in the 1980s and also one of the first to criticize the Dilma government, what do you think of the current moment?President Lula’s two terms have brought robust economic growth, reduced inequality, income distribution, social inclusion and investment in education and health.

Brazil was respected around the world and was seen as one of the leading countries in the G-20. Today, the country is shrouded in economic crisis, increased hunger, social discord. A government with an authoritarian vocation, full of disqualified flat-Earthers, devoid of competence, ethics, morals, modesty and dignity. Internationally, we are seen as a pariah.

What assessment do you make of the 7th of September?It was a display of explicit vulgarity. The president hijacked a historic civic event that the nation should be proud of, turning it into a dirty election rally.

And, in a final gesture, he placed a strange, circus-like figure as his right arm. There is an evident cognitive lack of understanding the weight and importance of the institution of the Presidency. Such a solemn moment is no occasion for marketing Viagra. What happened was an insult to our history, our country and our people.

In your opinion, what are the real risks in the rhetoric of threats to the results of the polls made by Bolsonaro?President Bolsonaro expressly said that history can repeat itself and that we face a struggle between good and evil. In these sentences, his will not to accept the will of the people is explicit. He errs and reverses good and evil.

What did you think of the episode of Bolsonarista businessmen in the Whatsapp group that exchanged messages in favor of the coup d’état in case of Lula’s victory?It brings to mind the Bandeirante Operation of the 1960s, when businessmen architected and supported the implementation of a dictatorship that tarnished the country’s history for more than two decades. They are individuals of the same rank, and the weight of the Constitution must fall on them.

And the reaction of STF (Federal Supreme Court) Minister Alexandre de Moraes, who unleashed the Federal Police operation on the group?The minister’s response was equal to the insurrection proposal. Today, there are few public men with that courage.

What are your predictions for Brazil’s economy in 2023, whoever the president is?Our economy is in shambles. Inflation will exceed the ceiling set for the third year in a row by sheer incompetence, cheap populism, endless electoral measures.

Interest will remain in the stratosphere, purchasing power will erode, and private sector bankruptcies will increase. The current government has not implemented tax or administrative reform, however, has reduced funds for science, technology, education and infrastructure investments, and has been extraordinarily generous with the transactional desk of the secret budget.

The next president will inherit a bankrupt country in recession, disunited, with an abyss of inequality, lack of health, education and infrastructure. To make matters worse, we are on the brink of a global recession. What the Bolsonaro government created was a time bomb to explode in 2023.

The biggest threat to the country is not a pandemic, climate disaster, Amazon on fire, economic collapse or even a global war. But totalitarian fascism under construction. With history in hand, the people will know what to do and not wait for fascism to sweep the country.

How concerned are you with political violence?When a president preaches violence, confrontation, us against them, the reversal of good against evil, he instills hatred in society. Distilling machismo with a gun in hand does not mean courage, on the contrary, courage comes from those who preach and fight for pacification and harmony, it is to accept a contrary point of view. The violence sweeping the country is a direct consequence of the president’s conduct.
In this trajectory of murder of those who diverge, the risk of generalized confrontation will increase. Institutions need to show that they are solid and curb voluntarism.

How do you rate the result of Friday’s Datafolha?The Datafolha survey shows a stable and consolidated picture. With 51% rejection, which also remains stable, the prospect of a victory for President Bolsonaro is zero.

The big risk lies in the interval between the first and second round. With a clear authoritarian disposition, the candidate for reelection has been insinuating that he will not accept a result that is not favorable to him.

The people and institutions must remain vigilant and monitor every step, not allowing him to set the country on fire. I hope the election concludes on October 2nd.


X-ray

A philosophy graduate from Lafayette College, USA, a master of philosophy from the Four-College PhD Program at the University of Massachusetts, he was president of the Pacific Group, wheat processing, which he sold to Bunge in 2015, and is now an investor. He is also the author of “Requiem for a Capitalism in Agony”

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