The Week Ahead in Brazil #126

Short term trends

What is happening in Brazil?

1. Politics – President Jair Bolsonaro (PL) and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT) participated in the first debate in the second-round dispute on Sunday (16) by Band. On Friday (21), Lula did not participate in the debate formed by SBT, CNN, Estadão, Veja, Nova Brasil and Terra, when journalists interviewed Bolsonaro. On Sunday (23), Lula also confirmed that he would not participate in the debate promoted by Record.

Both candidates will likely attend the last presidential debate on TV Globo, scheduled for 28 October.

Lula (PT) released a letter to evangelicals stating he is against abortion and favouring freedom of worship. (g1)

The electoral polls show an average gap of 6 percentage points, on average, between Lula and Bolsonaro. The most recent polls indicate a reduction to 4.6pp.

 Source: elaborated by the author, based on the original polls. Based on valid votes.

2. Economy – The country’s economic activity registered a drop of 1.13% in August compared to the previous month, according to the Central Bank’s Economic Activity Index (IBC-Br), released on Monday (17) by the monetary authority. Compared to August of last year, the high is 4.86%. (CNN)

Brazilian agribusiness exports reached US$ 13.97 billion in September, 38.4% more than a year before and a record value for the month, according to data from the Secretariat of Foreign Trade (Secex) compiled by the Ministry of Agriculture. (Valor)

3. Public administration – On Tuesday (18), Minister Alexandre de Moraes, president of the Superior Electoral Court (TSE), accepted representation motivated by the Rede Sustentabilidade party on the monitoring of elections by the Ministry of Defense. In his decision, Moraes ordered the department to submit, within 48 hours, a copy of documents on any audit conducted on electronic ballot boxes in the first round of this year’s elections. The Defense said it has not yet prepared the report, which will be sent after the second round to avoid inconsistencies, and that there is no legal requirement to deliver partial reports. (g1)

TSE approved a resolution increasing its powers on Thursday (20). With the decision, the Court may determine, of its own accord, the removal of content from social networks. (Poder360)

TSE decided unanimously to grant PT’s candidate Lula the right to reply in 116 TV insertions. Previously, on Thursday (20), TSE’s Minister Maria Claudia Bucchianeri had suspended the effects of a decision that gave Lula (PT) 164 insertions on TV as a right of reply in the time initially reserved for President Jair Bolsonaro (PL). (Folha)

The Federal Supreme Court (STF) authorized mayors and bus companies to offer free transportation to voters on election day, 30 October. The decision was motivated by the Rede Sustentabilidade party. (Veja)

The Minister of the Office of the Comptroller General (CGU), Wagner Rosário, said that the Transparency Portal does not have information on parliamentarians who requested the so-called “secret budget” amendments. (Estadão)

An analysis:

1. The trend for politics remains positive. Bolsonaro avoided institutional conflicts this week, especially concerning the TSE decisions. The government’s approval ratings and parliamentary support base continue without changes, with a slight improvement.

Regarding the elections, the polls show a shortening distance between Lula and Bolsonaro. The Brazilian presidential candidate intensified his visits to strategic cities but will not participate in two TV debates. Bolsonaro obtained critical support from country music artists this week and will have two hours to speak freely in the two presidential debates. The election’s outcome is still uncertain, but Bolsonaro is better off in the campaign’s final week.

Will he be able to seize this opportunity until Sunday? This is something to watch closely.

2. The economy continues on a positive trend. Despite the slight drop in the August GDP forecast, there was no significant change in the trajectory.

Next week, the Copom meeting is scheduled for October 25 and 26. The market forecast is to maintain the Selic rate stable at 13.75% p.a. Also, formal job numbers will be released.

3. The public administration follows a neutral trend. The week’s protagonist has been the Superior Electoral Court (TSE), with a series of measures dividing analysts’ opinions. On one side, journalists and jurists say that the decisions are correct and necessary to ensure elections without excesses of false or offensive news; on the other side, journalists and jurists argue that the decisions are arbitrary, random, and abusive.

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