Michel Temer Government
The approval of the admissibility of the proceedings in the Senate, with the suspension of President Dilma´s powers, marks the beginning of a new political phase for Brazil . . .
The approval of the admissibility of the proceedings in the Senate, with the suspension of President Dilma´s powers, marks the beginning of a new political phase for Brazil. Expectations are high in relation to the interim Michel Temer government over the next 180 days. Redirecting the path for the resumption of economic growth, especially following a credibility shock to the country, will be one of its greatest challenges.
Michel Temer is a skilled politician who throughout his political career has demonstrated an ability to reconcile varying interests, an important aspect to the current political moment. The capacity for political dexterity developed as three times President of the House of Representatives complements his technical knowledge as a proeminent Constitutional Law Professor. Having led one of the largest political parties in Brazil over the last 15 years, the PMDB – the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party, reaffirms these qualities.
Thoss characteristics can be observed through the profiles of the new ministers appointed, who possess eminently political profiles, however without ignoring the necessity of deep knowledge in sensitive areas of the government.
In this light, the government will seek solutions to attract investment, both domestic and foreign, so that the economic stagnation during the last 6 months is reversed and dialogue with the private sector resumed. In parallel, seeking to balance the public accounts is of paramount importance, along with crucial breakthroughs for the country in tax, fiscal, social security, labor and especially political reform. The success of these reforms and the support of Congress will fuel future investments.
The outlook, initially, is positive. Michel Temer does not intend to run for reelection in 2018, will possibly promote privatization and public-private partnerships and pave the way for major structural reforms for the country.
On the other hand, some destabilizing factors remain present in the Temer government, with regard specifically to the investigations of operation Car-Wash (Lava-Jato), operation Zelotes, the work of the Parliamentary Inquiry Committee in investigating deviations in the National Bank for Economic and Social Development (BNDES) and of pension funds. The future judgment of the State Accounts Tribunal of the accounts of Michel Temer and Rousseff’s political campaign, which may lead to disqualification from office of Michel Temer and the call of new elections, casts a doubt over the continuation of the government. However, it is expected that neither Temer nor Rousseff will be judged before the end of the term and that the Temer and Rousseff accounts will be judged separately.
Domestically, the deterioration of the Workers Party (PT) image with various sectors of society, indicates that Lula, the de facto leader of the PT and former President of the Republic who possesses great influence on the Dilma government, will possibly align himself to a position further to the left, and consequently, closer to the workers unions and disruptive social movements; a position previously at a forgotten era when he lost the run for presidency three times before finally being elected to office.
Regarding foreign policy and international trade Brazil new Government seens to be aware that Argentina is back on the game to attract investment and will keep up to this new and healthy competition to charm investors and commerce partners.
After no more than 180 days of the interim Government, we will reach na important milestone at the final judgement of the impeachment process with nobody expecting to come to a surprise with a different voting from the Senators that moved Dilma Roussef from the President Chair.
City hall elections to be held in October 2016 that will determine a new reassignment of forces for the 2018 Presidential elections that Michel Temer committed not to dispute. We hope and believe Brasil had matured.
RESTRUCTURING OF MINISTRIES
Before assuming the interim government, Michel Temer indicated changes in the administrative structure, however without interfering with ongoing programs. With the assumption of his position as President of the Republic, the changes will be immediate. Some functions will be absorbed by other ministries, others lose the status of ministry, and some will be joined together to form a new ministry. Therefore, the current 32 ministries of Dilma’s government will become 22 under Temer’s government.
Given this new scenario, the ministerial changes will have consequences for public companies management positions and regulatory agencies, with changes aligned with the new government proposal. Commissioner positions will also undergo modifications.
PROFILE OF THE MINISTERIAL TEAM
A positive point to a Temer government is the priority in composing ministries capable of implementing the necessary changes in reorganizing the country. The ministerial team of President Michel Temer’s interim government is composed of experienced politicians with expertise in their fields, who will make not only political decisions, but will also take into account the technical aspects.
The Ministries shall be composed of parties with great participation in the National Congress. The PT, PMDB and PSDB are the largest parties, which suggests that the chances of adopting measures, especially those that may be unpopular, are significant.
Distribution by professions
Most ministers, though most are lawyers, economists and company administrators, have political experience and certainly will be important actors in government interlocação with sectors of society and the National Congress, allowing the construction of a positive agenda for the country.
States with most ministers are Rio Grande do Sul and Pernambuco, each with 3 ministers. Following is Rio de Janeiro, with two. A highlight for Rio de Janeiro, which will host the Olympics in 2016, is the leader of the Ministry of Sport.
Another important point of this ministerial division by States is the influence on the allocation of funds to the municipalities in which municipal elections will take place in October 2016. The municipal elections will have a considerable influence on future elections to Congress.
DIFFERENCES AND SIMILARITIES: GOVERNMENT ITAMAR FRANCO AND INTERIM MICHEL TEMER GOVERNMENT
The similarities of the current political scenario with the time of transition experienced by Brazil in 1992, after the resignation of President Fernando Collor de Mello, when the then vice president, Itamar Franco took the chair is revealing. A positive indicator for the success of the interim government of Michel Temer and hence overcoming the crisis in sensitive areas of government, especially the political-institutional and economic crisis.
Despite the optimism generated by the success of Itamar government, faced with a crisis and overcoming which led the country to years of economic growth and fiscal and social prosperity, the challenges of Temer government are presented in a unique setting. Popular support is vital, as is that of other political parties with a view to effective governance, especially in seeking the approval of urgent proposals and unpopular but necessary reforms to reverse the economic situation and resume the country’s growth.
The main similarity between Itamar and the current Temer government is certainly the economic crisis. During Itamar, Brazil was experiencing a troubled period when hyperinflation was at 1100% in 1992, reaching 2708.55% the following year, not to mention the stagnation of GDP, evidencing a scenario averse to growth. Temer, too, will have to face challenges in the economic area, however other crises should receive special attention in the new government. In both scenarios, the debate on political reform, specifically the system of government, presidential or parliamentary, emerges as a reassessment of the current political system.
In this sense, it is important to note that Itamar Franco and Temer were both members of the PMDB, the impeachment of President Collor and President Dilma were motivated or influenced by allegations of corruption and the lack of dialogue with the National Congress are also facts in common.
At the end of his term, Itamar Franco had recovered the national economy, which put Brazil on the map of the international market and on a path of wealth, as well as a 41% popular approval rating. The principal measure, and a watershed for the Brazilian economy, was the creation of the Real Plan. In the social area, a highlight was the combat of poverty led by the sociologist Betinho. Itamar became one of the most popular political figures in the country.
Temer will have the challenge of regaining the country’s credibility in the international community, through a strong economy capable of attracting investment, and building a solid political base for the adoption of structural reforms, however unpopular.
Although the Itamar government promoted significant changes, with public support during the 27 months of its term, the current situation can be considered more complex. The way to overcome the crisis is still uncertain and will depend on the current president joining forces with the National Congress for priority policy matters and the implementation of its government program, as well as the ability to conduct difficult issues, such as the corruption investigations flooding the Brazilian political scene.
The interim government’s ministerial team is balanced, and composed of experienced politicians and experts in their fields, which will make decision-making not only political, but also take into account the technical aspects.
Daniella Barbosa Pereira