With the prospects for creation on Tuesday (13) of Covid’s CPI, President Jair Bolsonaro (without party) personally took on this Monday (12) political articulation to try to shield the federal management from an investigation into the mistakes made in combating the coronavirus pandemic.
Throughout the day, the president fired calls to senators from both right and center parties in an attempt to convince them to increase the scope of the parliamentary commission, including the investigation of states and municipalities.
Without success in the offensive, and with the risk of not avenging the attempt to create an alternative CPI, the president started to assemble a shock troop that defends the federal management and makes a counterpoint to the opposition in the commission of inquiry.
According to palace advisers, Bolsonaro already has the support of Senator Ciro Nogueira (PI), national president of the PP and one of the main leaders of the centre’s bloc, who joined the allied base last year.
The president also intends to place on the parliamentary committee three other names who have defended the thesis of the need to expand the investigation to states and municipalities: Eduardo Girão (Pode-Ceará), Izalci Lucas (PSDB-DF) and Soraya Thronicke (PSL-MS ).
The selection of members is important because, today, the tendency is for the collegiate to be mostly formed by names of opposition to Bolsonaro, such as Senators Randolfe Rodrigues (Rede-AP) and Renan Calheiros (MDB-AL).
The government fears that the investigation into the executive’s conduct of the fight against coronavirus will wear the president out even more, lead to a drop in popularity and even that he may be responsible for crimes.
Although there is a possibility that the Supreme Court (STF) on Wednesday (14) allow the CPI to start its work only when the Senate returns to hold face-to-face meetings, Bolsonaro’s order is for the government to anticipate the reaction strategy.
In addition to the formation of a shock troop, the Planalto Palace intends to equip governmental senators with indicators and achievements that show that the federal administration acted in the distribution of vaccines and supplies across the country.
The idea is that the material, a kind of handout for accountability of the coronavirus pandemic, is prepared jointly by the ministers of Health, Marcelo Queiroga, and of Communications, Fábio Faria.
In addition, in order to avoid unwanted surprises, members of the political articulation of the Planalto Palace argue that, before the commission begins its work, a prior analysis should be carried out in the main health contracts to remove signs of irregularities.
An aide of the portfolio recalls that, during commissions of inquiry, it is common for civil servants who joined past governments to pass on copies of contracts to opposition deputies that could harm the current administration.
On Monday, palace advisers assessed that the leak made by Senator Jorge Kajuru (Citizenship-GO) of conversation with Bolsonaro had both a negative and a positive effect.
For them, the defense of the president to increase the scope of the CPI ended up mobilizing the government troops.
After the president’s declaration, senators even from parties that are not in tune with the government began to preach the need for the investigation to also include governors and mayors, not just focusing on the Union.
On the other hand, Bolsonaro’s suggestion that Kajuru file an impeachment request against ministers of the Supreme Court created a new malaise between the Executive and the Judiciary, at the moment when the Supreme Court will define in plenary if the decision of Minister Luís Roberto Barroso is supported of the CPI.
For members of the ministerial team, the episode could not have happened at a worse time.
In the last exchange of ministers, at the end of last month, Bolsonaro dismissed the only member of the government who had a good conversation with the Supreme Court: General Fernando Azevedo, former Defense Minister.
A former adviser to Minister Dias Toffoli, the reserve military was cast by Bolsonaro whenever the relationship between the Supreme and the Plateau faced turbulence, especially because of the president’s disastrous or hostile statements.
Azevedo’s resignation provoked the biggest military crisis ever seen since the re-democratization, with the departure of the commanders of the Army, Navy and Air Force.
Reserve general Walter Braga Netto ended up being appointed defense minister, with a significant portion of the Armed Forces dissatisfied with Bolsonaro’s conduct in the Covid pandemic.
After the leak of part of the weekend conversation between Bolsonaro and Kajuru, deputies allied to the president say that, at first, he did not bother. However, he was irritated by the exposure of the section in which he referred to the impeachment of STF ministers.
Over the weekend, according to reports made to the leaf, the president also acknowledged deficiencies in the political articulation between the Planalto Palace and the Senate. That’s why the president decided to take over the dealings with senators.
The government’s assessment is that it was a mistake not to have contemplated the Senate in the latest ministerial changes.
Today, the Esplanada dos Ministérios does not have a minister who is a senator, while federal deputies command five portfolios.
In the last announcement, Bolsonaro even considered the appointment of the government’s leader in Congress, senator Eduardo Gomes (MDB-SE), but ended up opting for the appointment of federal deputy Flávia Arruda (PL-DF), ally of the mayor, Arthur Lira (PP-AL).
In view of the government’s failure to not even manage to make a CPI unfeasible, the assessment is that it has become indispensable that, in the near future, the Senate be contemplated with a ministerial position.
The hypotheses under analysis by the president to contemplate the House are Regional Development and Agriculture. And the favorite names to occupy one of the portfolios are those of senators Eduardo Gomes (MDB) and Jorginho Mello (PL).