Bolsonaristas are already evaluating Bolsonaro’s “substitute”

In the PL, the discussion is already on the table.

Who will inherit Jair Bolsonaro’s estate if the former president becomes ineligible by the Superior Electoral Court?

Today, the only consensus in the party is that candidates with the former captain’s last name are, at least officially, out of the running.

At the lunch he had with Valdemar Costa Neto the week before last, Jair Bolsonaro directly and explicitly told the President of the PL that Michelle Bolsonaro “does not want to be a politician” (turning to the woman, he added: “Isn’t it, love?” Michelle nodded and Valdemar got the message).

Eduardo Bolsonaro, a federal deputy, was discarded by his father even for a vacancy as a mayoral candidate; and Flavio, a senator made famous by the cracking scandal, has too high a liability to dream of the possibility.

Outside the clan, the name most cited by allies is that of the governor of São Paulo, Tarcísio de Freitas (Republicans). Today, however, two circumstances reduce the chances of Bolsonaro’s former Minister of Infrastructure inheriting his baton.

The first is that the governor is under attack by root Bolsonarists, who accuse him of having been elected by the former president and now governing with his enemies.

The second is your own desires.

Tarcísio repeats to interlocutors that he is more interested in running for a second term in the state in 2026 than in venturing into a presidential candidacy — an interest shared by Gilberto Kassab, his government secretary and political strategist.

The governor of Minas, Romeu Zema, another name on the list of potential Bolsonaro successors, is, in the words of a recent interlocutor, “playing dead”.

To friends, the politician from Novo says that he does not intend to anticipate the end of his government – something that he thinks would happen if he started to move from now on on the national scene.

General Braga Netto, chosen in 2022 by Bolsonaro to be his vice-presidential candidate, would have the former president’s sympathy but little electoral viability, in the opinion of Bolsonarism strategists. In the words of one of them, “the military is down” and the “right is furious with them” since its coup claims were thwarted on January 8.

Less remembered, but not off the radar of the PL, is the name of senator Rogério Marinho. Seen by Bolsonaristas as “little exciting” and restrained, Bolsonaro’s former Minister of Regional Development, and recent contender for Rodrigo Pacheco (PSD) in the race for the presidency of the Senate, has the advantages of being seen as an experienced politician and also loyal to Bolsonaro, in addition to being from Rio Grande do Norte — the Northeast is the weak point of Bolsonarism.

The fact that he comes from the Legislature is seen as another asset, since, unlike Tarcísio, who occupies an executive position, Marinho would have no impediments to launching an electoral campaign and going hand in hand with Bolsonaro for Brazil.

The ex-president’s trial at the TSE should take place in the coming weeks and even allies admit that Bolsonaro’s chances of leaving it as a disputed electoral supporter are much greater than as a potential candidate in 2026.

It will be a result that will affect Bolsonaro much more than Bolsonarism. This one needs the former captain less than the PT needs Lula. In the ideological fla x flu that has been consolidated in Brazil, Bolsonaro has always been the symptom, not the cause.

Of this, another will appropriate.

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