Brazil Politics: Bolsonaro Approval at Highest Level Since 2018

President Jair Bolsonaro’s approval rating remained stable at the highest level since he was elected in 2018 even as the government phases out popular monthly stipends, according to a Datafolha poll released by Folha de S. Paulo. Roughly 37% of citizens rate the president as good or great, which is unchanged from August and up from 32% in June.

Respondents who rate Bolsonaro as bad or terrible fell to 32% from 34% previously, while 29% see Bolsonaro as average. The poll also shows that 37% of Brazilians never trust the president; 21% always do and 39% sometimes do. Datafolha surveyed 2,016 people by phone on Dec. 8 and 10; margin of error is plus or minus 2 percentage points.

Congressional Vote

Bolsonaro’s administration is still trying to vote on some parts of a bill that supports the public spending cap. The government whip may include components in another piece of legislation, which is scheduled for a vote this week, lower house speaker Rodrigo Maia said in a interview with Valor Economico. Maia says the proposal can be presented as an amendment, but that strategy can be seen as unconstitutional.

On Friday, the rapporteur of the proposal that protects the spending cap, Senator Marcio Bittar, said his report would be put off until next year.

Vaccination

The Supreme Court gave Health Minister Eduardo Pazuello 48 hours to set a date for vaccinations against Covid-19 in Brazil, according to local newspapers. On Friday, the Brazil’s Health Ministry delivered a national immunization plan to the court following a request by Justice Ricardo Lewandowski. In the document, the Ministry says that 300 million doses are guaranteed, including more than 180 million coming from the agreement with Oxford-AstraZeneca, 42 million provided by Covax Facility and another 70 million would come from Pfizer, according to O Estado de S. Paulo. The Coronavac vaccine, developed by Sinovac Biotech Ltd. in partnership with the Butantan Institute, was not mentioned in the plan.

Half of Brazilians wouldn’t be willing to take the Covid-19 vaccine that’s being developed by China’s Sinovac Biotech Ltd. with Butantan in Sao Paulo, a Datafolha poll shows. The survey also showed the number of Brazilians who don’t plan to take any Covid-19 vaccine increased to 22% from 9% in August. Brazil has a total of 6,901,952 virus cases and 181,402 related deaths.

Succession

Under pressure from allies, lower house speaker Maia may announce on Monday who he will support to succeed him, says O Globo. So far, only Arthur Lira has announced his candidacy for the job. The conflicts between lower house and the Bolsonaro’s administration may continue even if Lira is elected, says Valor Economico. In the Senate, the MDB party is trying to unite to run for presidency, says the newspaper.

Other Highlights

  • Government reduces to zero IOF tax on credit operations; reduction will be valid from December 15 to 31 of this year: Folha de S.Paulo
  • Lower house can vote rules on compensation for states: Lower House news agency
    • Congress can vote Budget bill on Wednesday

Newspaper Top Stories

  • O Estado de S. Paulo
    • Reports that more than two-thirds of young people have precarious employment
  • Folha de S.Paulo
    • Highlights that Bolsonaro’s approval remains steady, and majority don’t blame him for deaths
  • O Globo
    • Highlights that Supreme Court gives 48 hours for government to inform dates for Covid vaccination
  • Valor Economico
    • Brokers advance over large banks market share

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