Most of the population rejects the appointment of military personnel to federal government positions, according to Datafolha.
A survey carried out by the institute on the 11th and 12th of this month shows that 54% of respondents are against the presence of uniformed personnel in these posts, compared to 41% who are in favor.
5% of the interviewees did not know how to express their opinion. The margin of error is two percentage points, up or down. Datafolha listened in person to 2,071 people across the country, and the confidence level is 95%.
A year ago, the institute also asked this question, and the rejection of the nominations also won: 52% said they were against the presence of the military in the government, against 43% favorable.
President Jair Bolsonaro’s campaign pledge (without a party), the appointment of military personnel to ministries and other relevant positions has reached unprecedented levels in the current administration since the end of the military regime in 1985.
Bolsonaro, himself a retired army captain, now has seven military ministers. Even posts with a purely political profile, such as the Government Secretariat, which organizes articulation with Congress, came to stay with the uniforms.
The Casa Civil, now occupied by Luiz Eduardo Ramos, general of the reserve, was already in charge of Walter Braga Netto, also general of the reserve and today holder of the portfolio of Defense. Ramos, Bolsonaro’s friend at the time of military preparation, was recruited to the top echelon in 2019 when he was an active duty officer and headed the Southeast Command.
On the one hand, the nomination of nominees from a branch that is usually well evaluated with the population met a demand from part of its constituency for changes in political practices.
On the other hand, it made up for the lack of technical names for the president’s base, elected by a small party with few formal allies.
Thousands of military personnel took up positions in various areas of the state structure. Report from leaf in March it showed that, on top of 19 state-owned companies linked to the Union, there were 92 members of the Armed Forces – ten times more than in 2018, under Michel Temer.
They are in positions as diverse as the heads of Correios, Valec (state-owned railway infrastructure) and Ebserh (Brazilian Hospital Services Company), linked to the Ministry of Education. A general also took over the main Brazilian company, Petrobras, and the vice president, Hamilton Mourão, is also a reserve officer.
In the electoral campaign, the president’s surroundings consisted of uniforms, such as the now minister Augusto Heleno, of the GSI (Institutional Security Office).
From the military’s point of view, there were benefits in the current management, such as the career restructuring plan and the continuity of spending on Navy and Air Force projects.
The performance of members of the Forces, however, was severely eroded by the visit of Eduardo Pazuello to the Ministry of Health, which ended in March.
An active general, he took charge of the country’s health crisis after the administrations of Luiz Henrique Mandetta and Nelson Teich, who complained about the lack of autonomy granted by the president.
Pazuello promoted a militarization of health posts, aligned himself with Bolsonaro’s orders and ended up marked by the delay in articulating the purchase and production of vaccines.
Today, he is under investigation at Covid’s CPI, in the Senate, and in an investigation that addresses the failure to respond to the coronavirus crisis in Manaus earlier this year.
During the Pazuello administration, the military insisted that he go to the reserve, which would help to disengage the Armed Forces from the measures of the current government. Then army commander Edson Pujol said publicly that the military should not be in politics.
In March, he ended up leaving the post, as well as the heads of the Navy and Air Force, out of friction with the president. The joint exonerations were the biggest military crisis in the country since 1977.
In the opposite direction, Bolsonaro has reinforced before his supporters the link with the Armed Forces, also as a strategy to respond to the political crisis resulting from the management of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The president has already given statements, for example, speaking of “my army” when referring to the institution.
A portion of its supporters seems more accustomed to this type of statement. According to Datafolha, among those who evaluate the current government as excellent or good, approval for the presence of the military in government posts rises to 75%.
Among men, the favorable ones add up to 46%. In the region, support is greater in the South (44%) than in the Northeast (39%).
Among those interviewed who say they are “very afraid” of the new coronavirus, the rejection of the appointment of uniforms jumps to 61%.
Also interviewed with higher education (58%), civil servants (62%), voters of former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, of the PT (69%), declared greater rejection to the presence of the military.