Government senators decided to attract the president of the Senate, Rodrigo Pacheco (DEM-MG), to the crisis involving André Mendonça’s hearing for the seat on the Federal Supreme Court.
The objective of the parliamentarians close to the Planalto Palace is to focus pressure on Pacheco, so that the senator from Minas Gerais can point to a solution.
A deputy government leader says that the intention would not be to directly target the president of the Senate, but argues that he “carry the burden” for not taking more drastic measures against Senator Davi Alcolumbre (DEM-AP), president of the Commission and Constitution and Justice and who has been holding the meeting in Mendonça.
Around Jair Bolsonaro, the bet is that the pressure on Pacheco, including independent senators and evangelicals, will be decisive for Alcolumbre to guide the hearing. This week, Alcolumbre met with Flávio Bolsonaro (Patriota-RJ). Then he met the president of the Senate and signaled that it would take place in November.
The expectation at Planalto was that Alcolumbre would announce the date of the analysis in a meeting with Bolsonaro, which ended up not taking place. According to government officials and first-time allies of the senator, he was upset with statements by the president of the Republic, decided to react to criticism and failed to give a deadline.
The assessment is that Alcolumbre is still willing to guide Mendonça’s hearing only when he is sure that the name will be defeated. Government ministers and Pacheco’s allies say the situation remains largely elusive, nearly fifty-fifty on approval.
Alcolumbre’s allies claim that the senator for Amapá, despite pressure from parliamentarians, members of the Supreme Court and political and religious groups, is in a secure position, as he is supported by two foundations.
One of them is the decision of Minister Ricardo Lewandowski, of the STF, who denied a request to put it on the agenda immediately.
This Thursday (14), the authors of the request, senators Alessandro Vieira (Cidadania-SE) and Jorge Kajuru (Podemos-GOL), appealed the decision and presented an interlocutory appeal. They ask that the decision be reversed or at least forwarded to the Supreme Court.
“The most important commission in the House has been used for some kind of personalist maneuver by Senator Davi Alcolumbre. There needs to be a reaction from the presidency [do Senado] so that the ordinary course of events can be re-established, that the one appointed by the President of the Republic is judged, it is verified whether or not he has the constitutional requirements for the occupation of the position and that the continuation of this artificially critical situation is not allowed”, said Vieira during plenary Session.
The second foundation would be the veiled support of Pacheco, elected for the presidency of the Senate, in February, with Alcolumbre as his godfather and main political articulator. The senator from Minas would have assured Alcolumbre that he would not take any action that would reduce his autonomy.
This position has been expressed by Pacheco, who claims to bet on “dialogue” and “consensus” to find a way out of this crisis.
The government senators assess that all the pressure on Alcolumbre had little effect, with the president of the CCJ irreducible in relation to the hearing. The situation still gained new contours this Wednesday (13), when President Jair Bolsonaro decided to go on the attack and stated that Alcolumbre would be acting “outside the four lines of the Constitution”.
Alcolumbre then countered and spoke out for the first time on the subject. In a public note he stated that he does not accept “threats”, “blackmail” and that they want to transform his autonomy as president of the CCJ “into a political act and a religious war”.
The senators closest to Planalto then decided to focus on Pacheco to try to reverse the situation. The strategy, in addition to requests during the sessions, will be to present regimental requests and points of order to put the president of the Senate “against the wall” and hand him over the weariness of not taking action against Alcolumbre.
A first action in this regard took place when senator Esperidião Amin (PP-SC) submitted a request in which he asked that the issue be brought to the plenary, since the president of the CCJ failed to comply with a 20-day regulatory deadline for the analysis of matters who come to the commission.
The strategy would be to obtain a position from Pacheco, be it positive or even negative. If Pacheco refused, it would be up to the senator to appeal the decision and bring to the plenary the vote on the request. The governing group believes it has more than 50 votes —out of a total of 81 senators— to approve it in the plenary.
Pacheco escaped the trap and assumed the weariness of not speaking up, thus benefiting Alcolumbre.
This Thursday, the leader of the Senate government, Fernando Bezerra (MDB-PE), on another front, handed Pacheco a request with 30 signatures from CCJ members in which he asked the president of the Senate to intercede for the realization of the survey.
Asked about these actions, Pacheco stated that he does not see pressure to resolve the impasse of the hearing in Mendonça.
“The demonstrations are legitimate. We have to respect them. It is not a pressure factor, but it is a manifestation of will that needs to be considered by the Senate presidency, it will certainly be considered by the president of the CCJ,” he said.
“I really believe in a consensus solution, based on dialogue, so that we can have this stage completed in the coming weeks with the hearing of the appointment of the minister to the Supreme Court. I’m working for it. That is my intention, that there is a hearing. I really believe that it will be carried out”, he added.
André Mendonça’s hearing completed three months in Alcolumbre’s drawer. In July, President Jair Bolsonaro sent a message with the nomination of the former Chief Advocate General of the Union for a seat on the Supreme Court.
André Mendonça is also the “terribly evangelical” candidate Bolsonaro promised for a seat on the Supreme Court. This profile is a demand of leaders of religious groups, who have demanded both the government and the Senate.
Like sheet showed, evangelical leaders rose up against joints to present an alternative to the name of Mendonça.
Pastor Silas Malafaia, Bolsonaro’s ally, made public demands and released a video with attacks on Ciro Nogueira (Casa Civil), leader of the center, whom he accuses of participating in the offensive against the appointment of a “terribly evangelical”. The minister countered, saying the religious leader lacks information.
In addition to the STF decision and Pacheco’s position, Alcolumbre still has in his favor the support of a significant portion of the senators, as a result of his time as president of the Senate. This movement is also joined by leftist and anti-lavajatist opposition.
This heterogeneous and complex group is opposed to the name of Mendonça and wants in its place the current Attorney General of the Republic, Augusto Aras.
Aras was reappointed to office in August, with support from government and opposition. The main reason is his position in favor of the political class and his efforts to dismantle Operation Lava Jato.