Can Brazil’s democracy survive Dilma Rousseff’s fall?

Diogo Costa and Magno Karl – Telegraph, 03/24/2016

The biggest corruption scandal in modern democracy is threatening to take down Brazil’s government. When analysing Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment process, commentators worry that the 28 year-old Brazilian democracy might not survive the clash between the rule of law and the rule of politics.


For some, Brazil in 2016 resembles Brazil in 1964, when a civilian president was deposed and replaced by a military regime. Commenting on the largest anti-government demonstration ever to take the streets of Brazilian cities,The Observer’s editorial of March 20 said that Brazil’s “protests, if unchecked, could degenerate into widespread violence, risking intervention by the army.”


Military interventions are usually a cause of concern during times of political turmoil in developing countries. However, comparisons with the 1964 coup overlook the economic, institutional, and political changes that took place in the past half-century. The sufficient conditions for the 1964 military coup no longer apply to Brazil today.

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