'Hardcore supporters of Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, have urged his followers to flood the streets in defence of their leader on Sunday amid mounting conservative angst over the far-right populist’s anarchic opening act in office.
Bolsonaro swept to power last October, his insurgent campaign turbocharged by widespread revolt at the corruption and economic misrule of the Brazilian left.
But seven months later, with Brazil’s economy stuck in the doldrums, political infighting raging, and Bolsonaro facing protests at home, rejection overseas and questions over corruption in both his party and his family, his approval ratings have plummeted to historic lows and several prominent supporters are publicly voicing regret.
“I had to choose someone, and that someone was Bolsonaro. But he has shown he doesn’t have the slightest intellectual or emotional capacity to administer Brazil,” the rightwing singer Lobão complained last week in an interview with Valor Econômico, Brazil’s answer to the Financial Times. “It’s obvious the government is going to collapse,” he added.
Reinaldo Azevedo, a rightwing commentator, offered an equally dismal evaluation. “If … Bolsonaro continues to listen only to the horde of lunatics that surrounds him, he won’t finish his term,” he warned in an article about Brazil’s “shallow and petty” leader.
In an editorial headlined The Bolsonaro Threat, the conservative newspaper O Estado de São Paulo – which has emerged as a particularly ferocious critic of Brazil’s president – said he had “shown a shocking unpreparedness for the job”.
That might be remedied by competent ministers, it argued. But Bolsonaro had packed his administration with “toadies whose only function seems to be confirming the president’s daydreams”.'
Read more: Diehard Bolsonaro supporters prepare to march as criticism of his rule intensifies
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