The Senate’s CRE (Committee on Foreign Affairs and National Defense) approved this Thursday (25th) the nomination of TCU (Court of Accounts of the Union) minister Raimundo Carreiro Silva for the post of ambassador of Brazil to Portugal.
Carreiro was approved with 12 votes in favor and only 1 against. The nomination still needs to be approved on the Senate floor next week.
Carreiro’s departure from TCU started a race for his seat within the Senate itself, which could even end in a vote, for the first time in 13 years. Most of the time, the Senate’s nominations are given after agreement.
The favorite is the CRE president herself, senator Kátia Abreu (PP-TO). Senator Antonio Anastasia (PSD-MG) and the leader of the government in the Senate, Fernando Bezerra Coelho (MDB-PE) are also vying for the seat backstage.
Carreiro would not officially retire until 2023, so there would be no need for the Senate to decide now on his successor. However, President Jair Bolsonaro decided to nominate him for the post in Lisbon, initially, to be able to nominate someone he trusts for the post.
The government, however, came back to get closer to Kátia Abreu and that is why she became the candidate for the Palácio do Planalto.
After the CRE session for the vote of authorities, Kátia said that she prefers that there is an understanding for the nomination of the Senate for the vacancy of Carreiro, instead of a vote in plenary.
“It’s always good. If there is an understanding, it would be much better. But if there isn’t, it doesn’t mean that it’s the end of the world. That’s what democracy is all about. So let’s try, let’s talk, that’s our role,” said the Senator
Ironically, the senator’s candidacy for Tocantins placed President Jair Bolsonaro and his son Flávio Bolsonaro (Patriota-RJ) on the same side as the disaffected Renan Calheiros (MDB-AL).
Also ironically, Kátia and Renan even denounced a few months ago a maneuver by President Jair Bolsonaro, who intended to cede an embassy to Carreiro in order to have a majority in the TCU.
The senator, who is president of the CRE (Committee on Foreign Affairs), said at the time that she would not put the nominee’s hearing and vote on the agenda.
On the other hand, Anastasia is seen by senators as the most prepared to take the vacancy at the TCU, due to his knowledge in the area of law and his technical performance in the Legislative.
Anastasia has the support of President Rodrigo Pacheco, who made a deal with him: to work for his nomination to the TCU in exchange for the PSD’s support for the election of Pacheco to the presidency of the Senate.
Initially, Anastasia would chair the CCJ (Committee on Constitution and Justice). He gave up the position to Davi Alcolumbre (DEM-AP) precisely because of the promise of being nominated to TCU.
Carreiro, former secretary general of the Senate Board, was interviewed in an extremely cordial atmosphere. Kátia Abreu stated that there was a dispute for the position of rapporteur for her appointment to the embassy in Lisbon. Despite being the nomination of an authority, the senator said that she chose a “friend” of Carreiro.
“I must confess that minister Carreiro was a great dispute among senators, who have a very special affection for him, to report minister Carreiro, everyone wanted to report on Carreirinho,” stated the senator.
“But we took the oldest friend. It was a tough dispute, but everyone will have the opportunity to comment on this dear friend who did a great service to the Federal Senate and the Federal Court of Auditors and now goes to Portugal, if God want,” he completed.