Brazil Congress Elects Bolsonaro Allies As New Leaders

Brazil’s Congress on Monday elected 2 allies of President Jair Bolsonaro to head the Senate and lower house, a crucial success for the far-right leader as he seeks to re-galvanize his reelection efforts for 2022.

Arthur Lira of the Progressives (PP) won in the first round of elect speaker of the Chamber of Deputies by 302 votes out of 513. Previously, the Democrats’ (DEM) Rodrigo Pacheco was chosen Senate speaker with 57 out of 81 votes.

Senator Rodrigo Pacheco is seen after being chosen president of the Senate, in Brasilia, on February 1, 2021 AFP/ Sergio Lima

Bolsonaro hailed the outcomes on Twitter, publishing photos of himself with the brand-new congressional leaders.

He had gotten personally involved in the management battles in both homes of the legislature, wanting to improve his troubled relations with Congress and ward off the 61 impeachment demands he is dealing with.

The speakers of the Senate and Chamber of Deputies, who are elected for two-year terms by their associates, are crucial gate-keepers in Brazilian politics, with the power to choose which legislation turns up for a vote.

General view of the Brazilian Senate taken throughout the session to choose the chamber speaker, in Brasilia, on February 1, 2021 AFP/ Sergio LIMA

The lower-house speaker likewise has the power to accept or shelve motions to impeach the president– no small matter for the leader called the “Tropical Trump,” who has actually acquired lots of such demands midway into his four-year term.

Lira assured “neutrality” in leading your house and asked for a minute of silence to honor the victims of Covid-19.

Bolsonaro, who currently has no political party, has had a hard time to get legislation passed in Congress, and is progressively undesirable amid a raving second wave of Covid-19 in Brazil.

Brazilian Deputy Arthur Lira (C) celebrates after being chosen as president of Brazil’s Lower House in Brasilia on February 1, 2021 AFP/ Sergio Lima

He won the election in 2018 with support from business sector, pledging to push through a long-delayed program of privatizations and austerity reforms.

However he has actually made practically no development on that agenda. Rather, the economy has taken a beating from the pandemic, which Bolsonaro has actually insistently downplayed.

Looking for to utilize the management votes to strengthen his clout with Congress, Bolsonaro struck an alliance with a coalition referred to as the “Centrao,” or “huge center,” a loose group of parties whose top priority has generally been accessing to pork and federal government posts.

Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro is dealing with 61 impeachment demands, some 20 of which are over his chaotic handling of the Covid-19 pandemic AFP/ Sergio LIMA

The primary difficulty to Lira came from Baleia Rossi of the Brazilian Democratic Movement (MDB), the prospect backed by previous lower-house speaker Rodrigo Maia (DEM).

Maia has a stretched relationship with Bolsonaro, and responded furiously when other lawmakers from his celebration defied him to back Lira.

He supposedly threatened to use his last day in the speaker’s seat to open impeachment proceedings against Bolsonaro, prior to backtracking.

Bolsonaro deals with some 20 impeachment motions over his disorderly handling of the pandemic, plus dozens more over alleged anti-democratic actions, environmental criminal activities and dislike speech.

The voting procedure in the lower house could extend into the early hours of Tuesday.

Even if Bolsonaro gets his candidate elected, he could still have a hard time to get things performed in Brasilia prior to he turns up for reelection next year.

The “Centrao” is a requiring and unpredictable ally, whose betrayal played a crucial function in the impeachment and downfall of former president Dilma Rousseff in 2016, political analysts cautioned.

” The ‘Centrao’ is loyal when conditions are right. And currently, that’s far from an offered, with an exceptionally delicate economy and Bolsonaro’s appeal falling,” stated political scientist Thiago Vidal of the consulting firm Prospectiva.

” They’re going to hold his government captive.”

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