Senate President Rodrigo Pacheco (DEM-MG) said on Thursday (8) that he will comply with the order of Minister Luís Roberto Barroso, of the STF (Supreme Federal Court), and install the CPI (Parliamentary Committee of Inquiry) of Covid-19, but stated that the collegiate cannot serve as a political platform and crown the failure to combat the pandemic.
The statements were made at the end of a Senate session, shortly after Barroso’s decision was made public. The STF minister considered that the necessary requirements for the opening of the commission are present and that the head of the Senate cannot be omitted in relation to this.
The STF minister submitted the decision to the court for analysis. The case will be heard in the next virtual session of the Supreme Court, which begins on April 16 and runs until the 26th of the same month. During this period, magistrates must include their votes in the system.
Pacheco described the STF’s decision as wrong and said that, at this moment, “with the seriousness that the pandemic requires us to be united, it will be a point outside the curve.”
“And beyond a point outside the curve, it can be the crowning achievement of the national failure to face the pandemic,” he said.
For the senator, the decision could anticipate the 2022 electoral dispute and jeopardize the fight against Covid-19. “The CPI may, indeed, have a role in anticipating the political-electoral discussion of 2022, as a political platform, which is absolutely inappropriate for this moment in the nation.”
The decision is a defeat for President Jair Bolsonaro’s allied base in Congress, who had been trying to bar the commission to investigate the conduct of the pandemic.
According to Pacheco’s allies, the decision took the Senate president by surprise. A way out for the senator, contrary to the CPI, would be to install the commission, but the parties may refuse to nominate members.
The measure had mixed reception in the Senate. The discomfort created caused some senators to even threaten to withdraw the signature of the CPI, as a protest against what they considered interference in another power. There was doubt, however, whether it would be possible to withdraw support. Others have publicly voiced their criticism of Barroso’s decision.
“I signed Covid’s CPI. I don’t think a monocratic decision by a member of one branch can determine what a president in another branch does,” says Senator Omar Aziz (PSD-AM).