Opinion: The historical roots of the “secret budget” in Brazil, aka the “Bolsolão”, explained

When opposition to Bolsonaro's electioneering budget-busting "Brazil Aid" plan grew, the Centrão emulated the Mensalão, and quickly distributed some R$3 billion from the RP9 slush fund to those members of Congress who agreed to vote in favor of the PEC dos Precatórios.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – (Opinion) The title for this essay could have been “How the 300 Scoundrels morphed into the Centrão and want to pay themselves R$19 billion to help re-elect Bolsonaro.”

By way of institutional background, Article 100 of Brazil’s 1988 Constitution details how legislators can submit proposed “amendments” to the federal Budget for the following year.

These amendments are common to democracies, as legislators seek funds for their own electoral redoubts. In English-speaking parliaments, they are formally known as budget “riders” or “earmarks”, but informally (and pejoratively) as “pork barrel”, obtained by “log . . .

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