It’s not clear whether there is a sound legal basis on which to impeach Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff, but she will probably soon be ousted. The investigation popularly known as Operation Car Wash, over alleged kickbacks involving Petrobras, Brazil’s state-owned oil giant, has put her party, the PT, under steadily mounting pressure. Her largest coalition partner, the PMDB, has abandoned the government. And it doesn’t help that Brazil remains mired in its deepest recession in more than 100 years. Rousseff lost her first impeachment vote in Brazil’s lower house of congress by a tally of 367–137. Her fate now lies with the Brazilian senate. She’s likely to be gone before summer.
Though impeachment would generate market euphoria, Brazil’s political fever will not break. The Car Wash scandal will grind on, and new efforts to revive the economy will face long-standing obstacles, including tanking commodities prices, cheap oil, and hard-to-control inflation. Rousseff’s many supporters are likely to hit the streets over a perceived coup. Brazil’s political and economic health will get worse before it gets better.
Now for the good news. The pro-business work of Rousseff, former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, and the PT will not be fully undone. Millions of Brazil’s people have been lifted from poverty, and though incomes have been sliding, many once-excluded citizens have become a permanent part of their country’s politics. They will henceforth have higher expectations of their government and for their own prospects. In addition, prosecutors and judges have proved they can disrupt the culture of corruption, a crucial achievement anywhere.
That’s why Operation Car Wash will be remembered as the crisis Brazil needed. It will ultimately help the country and its people take the next step toward better governance and a more prosperous future.
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Ian Bremmer is president of the Eurasia Group and author of Superpower: Three Choices for America’s Role in the World.
A version of this article appears in the May 1, 2016 issue of Fortune.