President Jair Bolsonaro faces increasing pressure over the coronavirus crisis, as well as allegations of corruption and vaccine agreement.
Majority of Brazilians say they support Jair Bolsonaro’s impeachment, poll released Saturday as the country’s far-right president faces corruption allegations and the increasing pressure on its coronavirus crisis management.
The Datafolha survey showed that 54% of Brazilians support a proposal by the Brazilian lower house to open impeachment proceedings against Bolsonaro, compared to 42% who oppose it.
In the latest Datafolha survey on the issue, released in May, supporters and opponents of impeachment were essentially tied.
Bolsonaro, a COVID-19 skeptic who called the virus a ‘little flu’, has faced months of public pressure – including several major events and a Senate investigation – as the pandemic ravaged Brazil, killing more than 531,000 people, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
A recent spate of scandals, including questions about suspected irregularities in his government’s procurement process for coronavirus vaccines and accusations of past corruption, added to the president’s woes.
Last month, federal investigators announced they had opened an investigation into a government contract worth 1.6 billion reals ($ 320 million) for 20 million doses of a manufactured COVID-19 vaccine. by the Indian company Bharat Biotech, Covaxin.
The attorney general’s office (PGR) cited relatively high prices, swift talks and pending regulatory approvals as red flags for the Bharat contract signed in February, ahead of similar deals with Pfizer Inc and Johnson & Johnson.
Bolsonaro was accused for taking “no action after being informed of the existence of a giant corruption plan at the Ministry of Health” – an allegation he denies.
In a radio interview on Saturday, Bolsonaro said he took action after officials shared concerns about the Covaxin deal, but he did not give further details.
“I meet 100 people a month on the most varied subjects imaginable,” he told Radio Gaucha in southern Brazil. “I took action in this case.”
Last week, Bolsonaro was also accused of being involved in a scheme to cut the salaries of his assistants while he was a federal deputy.
Citing what it said were audio recordings of Bolsonaro’s former sister-in-law explaining her role in the alleged racketeering, Brazilian website UOL reported that the racketeering involved hiring close associates as employees, then to receive a reduction in their public wages from them.
Scandals put pressure on president, who is set to face challenge from former left-wing leader Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva when the Brazilians go to the polls next year for the presidential elections.
Thousands of people protested across Brazil last weekend to demand his resignation.
In another Datafolha poll, released Thursday, 51% of Brazilians said they disapproved of Bolsonaro, the highest figure since he took office in January 2019.