The Prerogatives group, which includes jurists, lawyers, professors, referees and former members of the Public Ministry, reacted to the report published by the newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo according to which Defense Minister Walter Braga Netto stated that there would be no elections in 2022 if there was no printed and auditable vote.
According to the State, the message was transmitted to the president of the Chamber, Arthur Lira (PP-AL), and had the participation of the commanders of the Army, Navy and Air Force.
“It is inconceivable that the Defense Minister commits the delusional exorbitance of coercing the President of the Chamber of Deputies to admit and implement an exotic change in the voting system, under penalty of waving the cancellation of the 2022 elections”, says the Prerogatives in a statement sent to the column.
“It is necessary that the representatives of the Armed Forces, once and for all, restrict themselves to their specific attributions, abdicating the performance of disturbing performances on the stage of political clashes, which in no way concern them”, he continues.
This Thursday morning (22), after the publication of the report, the minister of the STF (Supreme Federal Court) and president of the TSE (Superior Electoral Court), Luís Roberto Barroso, said through a publication on social networks that both Lira and Braga Netto denied that there was a coup threat.
“I spoke with the Minister of Defense and the President of the Chamber and both emphatically denied any episode of threat to the elections. We have a Constitution in force, functioning institutions, a free press and a conscious and mobilized society in favor of democracy,” Barroso posted .
Arthur Lira, in turn, went to social media to affirm that “the last government decisions were for the recognition of politics and articulation as the only way to make the country move forward”.
“Regardless of what is or is not published in the press, the fact is: Brazilians want a vaccine, they want work and will judge their representatives in October of next year through the popular, secret and sovereign vote,” said Lira.
In its statement, the group Prerogatives states that the alleged episode requires a rigorous investigation and “possible consequences proportional to the institutional risk” it represents.
“All public authorities are subject to respect for the Constitution of the Republic, whose democratic nature does not admit threats or authoritarian and coup-based conditions to the normality of the electoral calendar”, assert the jurists and lawyers.
“The act of folly allegedly practiced by Braga Netto symbolizes a flirtation with anarchy, possibly fueled by the malaise generated by revelations of acts of corruption involving officers of the Armed Forces in the civilian management of the fight against the pandemic,” says the note.
Prerogatives had already taken a stand against Braga Netto earlier this month, after the minister and the commanders of the Armed Forces issued a repudiation note to statements made by the president of Covid’s CPI, senator Omar Aziz (PSD-AM).
At the time, Aziz stated that for many years Brazil “has not seen members of the bad side of the Armed Forces involved in fraud within the government.”
In response, Braga Netto and commanders claim that the senator, in his speech, disrespected the military and generalized corruption schemes. “The Armed Forces will not accept any light attack on institutions that defend democracy and the freedom of the Brazilian people,” they said.
Read, below, the full note of the group Prerogatives released this Thursday:
“The main duty of jurists aware of their role is the defense of the democratic rule of law. Moved by this imperative commitment, the Prerogatives group, which brings together professionals and professors in the legal area, on the subject entitled “Minister of Defense threatens and conditions the 2022 elections to the printed vote” (Estadão, 7/22/2021), reacts vehemently to the absolutely distorted conduct of the aforementioned Minister of State, General Braga Netto, as reported by the press.
All public authorities are subject to respect for the Constitution of the Republic, whose democratic nature does not admit threats or authoritarian and coup-based conditions to the normality of the electoral calendar.
The position of Minister of Defense, superimposed on the commands of the Armed Forces, although currently held by a retired general, is a function of a civilian nature, representing an indispensable containment of abuses that may emerge from the barracks. The exercise of this position with the addict, with the objective of interfering in electoral disputes demonstrates signs of degradation and misuse of purpose, to contaminate not only the integrity of its occupant, but also the task of observing law and order, to which military institutions must reverence.
It is inconceivable that the defense minister would commit the delusional exorbitance of coercing the president of the Chamber of Deputies to admit and implement an exotic change in the voting system, under penalty of signaling the cancellation of the 2022 elections. Armed forces, once and for all, restrict themselves to their specific attributions, abdicating the performance of disturbing performances on the stage of political clashes, which in no way concern them.
The supposed demonstration by Minister Braga Netto goes beyond being another dark chapter of recent military interference in the free exercise of civil powers, inaugurated with the famous and subversive message on Twitter by which General Villas Bôas sought to intimidate the Supreme Court on the eve of the trial of a habeas corpus filed by former president Lula. At the present time, the act of folly allegedly practiced by Braga Netto symbolizes a flirtation with anarchy, possibly fueled by the unease generated by revelations of acts of corruption involving officers of the Armed Forces in the civil management of the fight against the pandemic, together with the crisis of hierarchy resulting from the leniency of the former Health Minister General Eduardo Pazuello’s participation in a kind of political rally of the President of the Republic and his supporters.
The journalistic dissemination of an initiative of such gravity, which would have been carried out by Defense Minister Braga Netto, mobilizes the legal community to denounce the coup-plotting character and attack on the Constitution contained in this act of extreme foolishness. The news requires a rigorous investigation, as well as any consequences proportional to the institutional risk that arises from an irregular attitude of this type.”