Brasilia in the eye of the storm
Brazil is still in shock due to the scandals surrounding President Michel Temer, who made statements to the nation…
Brazil is still in shock due to the scandals surrounding President Michel Temer, who made statements to the nation twice last week, defending himself of the accusations, and challenging the veracity of the audio in which he talks to businessman Joesley Batista, in the Jaburu Palace – where the President currently lives.
The JBS owner also cooperated with the police in investigations involving corruption schemes with Senator Aécio Neves (PSDB/MG) and Federal Deputy Rodrigo Rocha Loures (PMDB/PR), the latter considered a person close to President Temer, who once held the role of special advisor while Temer was vice president; Chief of staff of the Secretariat of Institutional Relations; in addition to being appointed special advisor to the Presidency, before taking the position of Federal Deputy, due to the departure of Osmar Serraglio to the Ministry of Justice. Both parliamentarians were dismissed by the Federal Supreme Court (STF – in the acronym in Portuguese) of their political functions following a request from the Attorney General’s Office on the basis of Batista’s indictment.
Before the first speech, several speculations about the resignation of President Temer took over Brasília; Meanwhile, several parties have filed impeachment requests in the Chamber of Deputies, due to the actions considered non-republican for a President.
Apart from that, there are still uncertainties regarding the parties that form the basis of the government, on whether or not they remain with the government. At this moment, only the Minister of Culture, Roberto Freire (PPS), tended his resignation; and the Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB) annouced the rupture with the government. Other parties, however, declared that they will expect the progress of the investigations, and that they support the policies of the Temer government until then.
Giving strenght to the impeachment petitions already filed in the Chamber of Deputies, the Brazilian Bar Association (OAB), after a long meeting on Saturday, agreed to file an impeachment request, when 25 state representatives voted to present – against only one vote. This request should be filed this week.
Seeking to align its political base, President Michel Temer held this Sunday meetings with several Ministers and leaders of the National Congress, asking for support and firmness in the coming days, and asking for focus on the reforms that are under analysis in the Legislative and cannot be paralyzed. This happened even with the manifestations released by the rapporteurs – such as the Labor Reform in the Senate, senator Ricardo Ferraço (PSDB/ES); and the Pension Reform in the Chamber, Arhut Maia (PPS/BA) – who stated that the political situation does not allow any progress in the discussions of the projects; and also ins spite of the statements by opposition leaders, who said that there will be obstructions to any vote the government wants to carry out until there is an end to the current political chaos.
The moment is delicate because the government was seeking votes to approve the Pension Plans reform at the House Plenary. This reform, however, will probably be paralyzed, because the uncertainties and the government’s exposure are not favorable to put to a vote a bill that, in addition of not having complete agreement between the parties, now shows the complete desagreement between them. On Tuesday, a group of 12 parliamentarians from the 47 of the PSDB will ask its leaders to leave the government. This group has filed one of Michel Temer’s impeachment requests in the last week.
On Wednesday, STF will analyze the request of the defense of President Michel Temer to suspend the investigation that runs against him. At the same day, there should be a demonstration, called “Occupy Brasilia”, which was initially planned to protest against the Social Security and Labor reforms; but that now has the objective of asking Michel Temer to leave, and also to support the investigations.
With the negative repercussion on the possibility of an indirect election by the National Congress, with the possible departure of Michel Temer, the Commission of Constitution and Justice and Citizenship (CCJC) of the House can vote on Tuesday a Draft of Amendment to the Constitution 227/2016) that allows direct elections for the Presidency of the Republic, in case of vacancy of the office.
This week in the House Plenary, the deliberation of at least eight Provisional Measures is foreseen, such as the one authorizing the differentiation of prices of goods and services offered to the public (MP 765/2016); and a bill that deals with the validation of fiscal benefits granted without authorization from the National Council of Finance Policy (Confaz) (PLP 54/2015). However, only after the leaders meeting on Tuesday, this agenda will be consolidated.
Normal work is awaited in the permanent committees in the Chamber of Deputies. We highlight this week’s hearing in the Commission for Science and Technology, Communication and Information Technology (CCTCI), on Wednesday (24), to discuss actions for the development of the Brazilian technological sector, with the participation of the Secretariat of Information Technology Policy of the Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovation And Communications (MCTIC); The Association for the Promotion of Excellence in Brazilian Software (Softex); and the National Federation of Information Technology Companies (Fenainfo). On the same day, there will also be a hearing of the Special Commission on the Treatment and Protection of Personal Data, regarding “Regulatory Model: agency and self-regulation”, with the presence of a representative of the Faculty of Law of USP; of InternetLab; of the Federal Data Processing Service (SERPRO); and the Secretariat for Informatics Policy (SEPIN/MCTIC).
Another interesting meeting will be that concerning the discussion and voting of the partial report on Electoral Rules, Electoral System and Campaign Financing Model, whose rapporteur is Deputy Vicente Cândido (PT/SP) in the Special Committee on Political Reform, which has segregated his reports for a clearer debate.
In the Senate, the Plenary agenda includes Provisional Measures on land demarcation and establishing the Tax Incentive Control Rate (TCIF) and the Service Fee (TS) in favor of Suframa. In addition to that, there is a second round of votes concerning PEC 10/2015, which extinguishes the special forum by virtue of a prerogative of function for federal authorities.
Among the committees’ meetings, the public hearing on the Human Rights Commission (CDH) on the Labor Reform, which has more than 20 guests that are mainly against the Reform, such as the National Association of Labor Prosecutors (ANPT), National Association of Magistrates of Labor Justice (ANAMATRA) and national labor unions.
The Senates Parliamentary Investigation Comission on Social Security will meet on Monday to hear the Secretariat of External Control of Social Security, the Institute of Applied Economic Research (Ipea), Unicamp, and the Getúlio Vargas Foundation.
A session of the National Congress is planned to happen this Tuesday, the 23rd, to analyze presidential vetoes (17 in total) and a Draft Resolution that creates Permanent Joint Committee aimed at consolidating federal legislation and regulating provisions of the Federal Constitution.