Kassab will be Tarcísio’s secretary and strongman in SP – 11/25/2022 – Poder

The national president of the PSD, Gilberto Kassab, will be announced as Secretary of Government of the Tarcísio de Freitas (Republicans) administration in São Paulo.

The nomination marks the formal return of the cacique to a position in the Executive since he spent almost two years on leave from the Civil House of former Governor João Doria (former PSDB, today without a party), a position he never occupied.

The position in charge of the Civil House will be Arthur Lima, a close ally of Tarcísio who worked with him in the Ministry of Infrastructure in the government of Jair Bolsonaro.

The nomination consolidates Kassab as Tarcísio’s main political articulator, a neophyte in politics drawn from Bolsonaro’s ministry to be the president’s candidate in the country’s main electoral college. The unofficial position already bothered Bolsonarists around the elected governor.

Tarcísio managed to occupy space in the political center and dislodged Governor Rodrigo Garcia (PSDB), Doria’s former deputy, from the dispute in the second round. He surpassed all rivals and, in the second round, beat Fernando Haddad (PT) with 55.2% of the votes.

The whole assembly of the political framework between mayors of the state fell to Kassab, who had bet on Tarcísio when he saw his idea of ​​taking Geraldo Alckmin to run for Bandeirantes for the PSD fail: the former Tucano governor is now from the PSB and vice-president elected in the ticket of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT).

He appointed the deputy governor-elect, Felício Ramuth (PSD), and now crystallizes his ascendancy over state management.

Kassab is one of the most experienced political cadres in the country, having worked in both the Legislative and Executive branches. He was deputy mayor of José Serra (PSDB) in São Paulo (2006) and holder of the capital from 2006 to 2012. He held ministries in the Dilma Rousseff (PT) and Michel Temer (MDB) governments.

In the Bolsonaro government, he kept the PSD at a regulatory distance, occasionally supporting congressional actions.

In an interview with Sheet after the elections, he stated that his idea now was to make the acronym a reference in the center-right and listed his conditions for supporting the Lula government, of which he ended up being part of the transition.

For Kassab, however, returning to Brasilia makes less sense than focusing on São Paulo, even more so with the political turmoil anticipated in Lula’s transition. Tarcísio, even though he is not yet a member of the PSD, is under its political orbit, and there is no jewel in the crown more showy in the country than the government of São Paulo.

In the interview, Kassab said that he would not necessarily need to be a secretary of state to help his ally, and recalled that he has other important assets across the country, such as the government of Paraná or the City Hall of Rio.

In the internal composition, however, the cacique will have the function of balancing the demands of Bolsonarist groups displaced from power in Brasília, of the occupants of the state machine during almost three decades of PSDB governments and of Tarcísio’s technical allies —such as Lima, who was director from the Planning and Logistics Company of the current governor-elect’s portfolio.

Neither Kassab nor Tarcísio could be reached for comment on the scenario. The PSDist should leave the national leadership of his party, but not his post as the main leader of the party.

In 2019, he had been appointed by Doria to head the Civil House, but on the eve of his inauguration he was the subject of an operation by the Federal Police that investigated donations considered suspicious by the company JBS between 2010 and 2016.

Kassab has always denied any wrongdoing, and according to him, 80% of the legal proceedings in the case have now been closed.

In any case, he took leave without taking over, to avoid embarrassing Doria. Allies say he never forgave the ex-governor, who had other secretaries involved in cases considered more serious, for not having him reinstated when he started winning in court. Kassab denies the discomfort.

After more than 500 days, he left the government and any possibility of composition with the then toucan — who left politics and the PSDB after his party vetoed the presidential candidacy this year.

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