The crisis involving the creation of Covid’s CPI in the Senate brought the MDB bench back to the center of politics, which articulates to obtain key positions in the future commission, mainly the rapporteurship, increasing its power and the pressure on the president’s government. Jair Bolsonaro (without party).
The emedebistas see the situation as an opportunity to pay back for the recent election for the Senate Presidency, when they saw their plea for the command of the House (for being the largest bench) ignored and had to abandon their candidate to not leave completely empty-handed.
Rodrigo Pacheco (DEM-MG) ended up elected with the support of President Jair Bolsonaro (without a party).
Now the MDB will indicate to the CPI two names considered independent, which promise to provoke distrust in the Planalto Palace: Renan Calheiros (MDB-AL) and the leader of the bench, Eduardo Braga (MDB-AM). Jader Barbalho (MDB-PA) must be appointed as one of the alternates.
The emedebistas articulate to stay with the commission’s rapporteur.
“The MDB wants the rapporteur because we are the biggest bench. In addition, we have the issue that the fact determined in the CPI is Amazonas,” said Amazon senator Eduardo Braga, referring to the collapse of the health system in Manaus and the deaths of patients due to lack of oxygen.
As he would be an Amazonian responsible for the commission’s reporting, government officials fear a more rigorous and critical action by Braga, to avoid questioning in his electoral base.
Although not provided for in the Senate bylaws, there is a tradition that the rapporteurship of parliamentary commissions of inquiry remains with the authors of the requests asking for their installation.
The document was filed by the opposition leader, Senator Randolfe Rodrigues (Rede-AP), to which President Bolsonaro said he wanted to “beat the hell out of it” and called it crap.
Bench leaders, however, consider it unlikely that the rapporteur will stay with Randolfe.
The government officials initially sought to maintain control of the presidency and the commission’s rapporteur, in order to avoid unforeseen circumstances and to be able to control the steps of the work. However, they recognize that taking her out of Braga will be much more complicated than the task initially envisaged, which was to take Randolfe out of the game.
The other name of the emedebista bench, former Senate President Renan Calheiros, is also viewed with reservations by the government. Renan has political capital, has remained discreet since he lost the election to the Senate presidency in 2019, but he never hid his past of proximity to PT governments.
The movement of emedebistas – the largest bench, with 15 senators – happens precisely in a moment of fragility of the government, which is looking for ways to undermine the CPI that threatens Bolsonaro.
The Planalto fears that the investigation into the Executive’s conduct of the fight against the new coronavirus will wear the president out even more, lead to a drop in popularity and even that he may answer for crimes.
Leader of an important governing party says that the MDB, with these movements, seeks to wall the government and promote revanchism because of the last elections for the Senate Presidency, earlier this year.
The MDB claimed the presidency, arguing that the proportionality rule should be followed, which reserves the post to the largest bench.
The party, however, ended up being tracted by the alliances closed by the then president of the House, Davi Alcolumbre (DEM-AP), with the support of Planalto, to elect the current president, Rodrigo Pacheco.
In the end, the emedebistas were forced to abandon their candidate, Simone Tebet (MDB-MS), in order not to be totally empty-handed. They achieved the first Vice Presidency of the House, but ended up without the main commissions.
The emedebista offensive turns on the yellow light at the Planalto Palace, especially since other large benches promise to appoint independent senators.
The PSD, the second largest bank, for example, said that it intends to nominate its two senators who signed the CPI request: Otto Alencar (PSD-BA) and Omar Aziz (PSD-AM).
Regarding the opposition, the PT should meet this Tuesday and confirm the nomination of Senator Humberto Costa (PT-PE).
The situation of the government may become even more complicated, depending on the political arrangements and the definition of the installation of the CPI. Governors, in an attempt to take the focus off the Plateau, began to sign en masse the request for another CPI, which also provides for investigations by states and municipalities.
The requirement of Senator Eduardo Girão (Pode-CE), Bolsonaro’s ally, however, provides for a smaller composition of the CPI, with only seven members – and not 11, as in the CPI requirement that must be installed, as decided by Minister Luís Roberto Barroso, of the STF (Supreme Federal Court).
If a leaner CPI prevails, the two main opposition blocs would have one seat each, just as they would if the commission had 11 members.
On the other hand, opposition blocks would have a reduced number of members. Just as an example, the PSDB, Pode and PSL block would go from three to a single member, according to the format provided for in Senator Girão’s request.