The candidacy of Sergio Moro

Carlos Zilio, PRATO, 1971, industrial ink on porcelain, ø 24cm


Where did he come from, what does he want, who does he support and where is the former judge’s candidacy going

Moderately and discreetly, sectors of the “liberal right” have been showing discomfort for some time. They are showing increasing signs that they do not want to re-elect the former captain (the current president of the republic). Neither Lula nor Bolsonaro. There is an urgent need to create a clean, modern – neoliberal, friendly and cool alternative (one that can win the votes of the masses – not just those fragrant Cantanhêde ones).

The third way candidate must be able to aggregate a bunch of parties (from the liberal center to the more conservative right) and absorb many, many Bolsonaro voters – to the point of taking him out of the second round. Such a candidacy also needs to have enough potential to defeat Lula in the second round.

Historically, this place belongs to the PSDB. The most organic party of the Brazilian bourgeoisie, something like its ideal representation on the political level. But the toucans became almost a caricature. Not even a preview to choose the presidential candidate manage to organize.

In the first presidential election he contested (in 1989), the PSDB – then represented by Mário Covas – obtained 11% of the votes. Later he won with FHC the presidential elections of 1994 and 1998. In 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014 the toucans were in second place – they lost to PT/Lula/Dilma for four consecutive times.

So they decided to appeal. They took the government in the big hand – internationally articulated – forming a coalition with the Judiciary, Public Prosecutor's Office, commercial media and the majority of Congress. The PSDB was the protagonist of the 2016 coup.

The polls did not forgive them. In the 2018 elections, toucan Alckmin won a ridiculous 5% of votes. But they remain hegemonic in São Paulo, despite the fact that the party leadership has changed hands.

Under normal conditions of temperature and pressure, João Doria – the current Toucan governor of São Paulo – would be the natural bet of the bourgeoisie, the markets and the mainstream media. The ideal name to defeat Bozo and Lula.

However, the persistent rickets of toucans in polls has led the GDP team to consider other paths.

After all, there is not even an internal consensus in the PSDB that will hold primaries (Doria will possibly narrowly defeat Gaucho governor Eduardo Leite).

Neither tops the 5% mark in presidential polls.

And then we come to the new presidential candidate – Seu Sergio.

The former judge, a central figure in the 2016 coup plot, led the process of weakening and banning the left. Operation “Lava-Jato” created the conditions for the end of the democratic regime that came from the 1988 Constitution.

Moro was Bolsonaro's biggest voter.

But life is real and bias. When the dialogues between the Curitiba gang came to light (revelations that became known as Vaza-Jato) there was no doubt left. That really had been, essentially, a big operation to criminalize Lula and the PT.

There was no room left for any kind of questioning. Everything clear. The why, what for, by whom, when, where and how. Let us remember that even among some progressive sectors there remained a certain skepticism about what Lava-Jato was in fact and about the real interference of the USA in the whole process.

Without blinking, Moro discarded the toga. He became Bolsonaro's Minister of Justice. He decided to serve the government of the president whose election was only possible because he himself had interdicted and arrested Lula.

Thus, he gave full reason to all the critics who stamped him as a “politician in a toga” – entirely partial.

Overconfident, the man from Paraná believed that he would be a kind of guarantor of the Bolsonaro government. At worst, future prestigious Minister of the STF.

It wasn't one thing or the other. He underestimated Bolsonaro's wit and misunderstood the neo-fascist nature of his government.

Early ejected from the Ministry, he was soon welcomed by his powerful sponsors. He was quickly given a nice job at Alvarez & Marsal – North American consultancy specializing in judicial recovery and management of bankrupt (or almost) companies. Who knows now, Moro might improve his broken English.

Surprise! Odebrechet – driven to bankruptcy by the decisions of the then judge Sergio – was one of the clients of the US consultancy that hired the former Minister.

Drawing: the judge who had bankrupted one of the largest national contractors came to win a job in a foreign consultancy responsible for leading the recovery processes of that very same company that he had gone bankrupt.

The STF in March 2021 decided that Moro was a partial judge and annulled all of Lula's convictions. A strong blow against the abuses of the Curitiba group – which were already being questioned.

Lava-Jato continued to lose support – despite the faithful and unconditional love of Globe.

Increasingly demoralized, isolated and afraid of being punished, his accomplice Deltan Dallagnol leaves the Public Ministry.

Moro's right-hand man announces that he will submit to electoral scrutiny. He will run for public office, following in his boss's footsteps. Running in conservative Paraná, he will hardly lack votes to reach the Federal Chamber or even the Senate.

The fact is that even after the deconstitution of Lava-Jato and with Moro self-exiled in the US, lavajatismo continued to have reasonable support.

And the ex-judge really cheered up. He threw himself.

Sergio Moro scores with rates ranging between 5 and 11% in polls, supposedly the new third place in the presidential race.

His first victim was Pindamonhangabense (no, he is not from Ceará). Moro's presence immediately dehydrated the Ciro Gomes candidacy, which was no longer, incidentally, very well from the legs.

The release of the former judge changed the tone of Globo's coverage. Like this: the hero is back. They don't even disguise sympathy, almost love.

Moro resurrected a liberal economist (former BC president in the Figueiredo government!), the reactionary old man Afonso Celso Pastore, and appointed him his economic adviser. It was then that the markets and the mainstream media really melted.

Shepherd wasted no time. His first statement:emergency aid was paid to too many people”. Here is the summary of what Moro's economic guru thinks. Is there a neoliberal more neoliberal than Guedes? Sounds like a sinister competition. Who is more anti-people? Moro/Pastore are positioned to the right of Bolsonaro/Guedes.

Going back a little.

The brief stint of the former head of Lava Jato at the Ministry of Justice exposed his reactionary convictions. The so-called “anti-crime package” that Moro presented to Congress was a heap of poorly made drafts and full of unconstitutionalities.

I'm not exaggerating.

In March 2019, I participated, as one of the representatives of civil society, in the debates held by the National Council for Human Rights - which thoroughly analyzed the proposals of the then Minister of Justice.

No rhetorical excesses: the technical primarism of Morist proposals was not more impressive than the precariousness of its writing (rough handling of the Portuguese language; an indelible characteristic of the former minister, let's face it).

In a courageous and historic resolution, the National Human Rights Council, in March 2019, disqualified Sergio's package point by point and recommended its complete rejection.

Establishing the “illegality exclusion”: Moro’s main proposal. It was a question not only of legalizing summary executions by the police, but above all of encouraging generalized killing.

Any police officer who claimed to have executed someone out of "excusable fear, surprise or violent emotion" could be acquitted or have his sentence reduced right off the bat. Moro really wanted to turn the genocide of poor young blacks into public policy. The National Congress rejected the absurd proposal.

But, after all, what is the Sergio Moro candidacy?

Third way? Liberal centre-right? Democratic right? Neoliberal in the economy and progressive in terms of rights? Non-radical conservative, but still capable of displacing Bolsonarist votes? Toucan substitute? What is the real nature of Moro's candidacy – and what role will he play next year?

Sergio Moro has no Party, in fact (Poss has only eleven federal deputies). Much less does it keep any intimacy with the political-electoral game.

The guy has serious problems with his voice (the nickname “hunchback” is accurate). Devoid of charisma or oratory he doesn't know what to say to the people.

Moro is a candidate with delay. Wrong election contest. His speech was for 2018.

Monothematic, its only agenda is the fight against corruption – not even a hot topic in the next elections.

The year 2022 is about employment, income, health, growth, salary, economy. It will be fun to watch Moro defend Pastore's economic proposals, his “Ipiranga post”. Moro will start the campaign denouncing that there were too many people receiving emergency aid? How many votes will this idea win?

It is no rhetorical exaggeration to say that Sergio Moro is as nefarious as Bolsonaro. His candidacy is a far-right variant. Less crude, but just as or more harmful.

Moro embodies an extreme right with lace cuffs, who knows how to use cutlery.

He doesn't scream in public, he doesn't use bad words and he loves black suits (a coded allusion to Italian black shirts?). Ambitious, authoritarian, spiteful.

Moro is even more dangerous than Bolsonaro, as he has, for example, a greater capacity for organic articulation with imperialism. In theory, he could sustain an authoritarian regime that maintained a legalistic facade for a longer period of time.

Unlike Bolsonaro, he is not a outsider. Sergio would be spared from condescending/disgusted looks in high circles, negative reports in JN and inelegant comments in Globo News.

Moro has a programmatic core. The text he read when presenting himself as a candidate was millimetrically drawn.

Despite being full of platitudes, the piece read maintains a cohesive structure and coherence: i. reinforces the image of the lone hero who fights against corruption; ii. features a liberal candidate on economics but with social concerns; iii. builds the profile of a compassionate conservator; iv. criticizes the PT more than Bolsonaro; and v. proposes the end of re-election and the privileged forum, reinforcing the anti-systemic footprint.

Outline of future line of campaign and program very well done. The guy is well advised. This pronouncement by Moro marks many differences with Bolsonarism (he criticizes the former captain for abandoning his anti-corruption commitment, high prices and poor economic management).

Otherwise of course, beats the PT much more, although it is limited to that overused topic: corruption.

In short: the search for the miraculous third way seems to have come to an end. The man in the black suits took that place – with a bias well to the right.

Sergio Moro is the ball of the moment. His shaky diction, lack of charisma and intellectual limitations should not lead us to underestimate him.

Moro is a discreet, disciplined fascist who has already shown daring and ability to articulate with national and international centers of power.

It is the third way actually existing today.

And the PSDB? By the way of the carriage (since not even a preview can be organized), everything indicates that the Party will repeat the previous embarrassment. Toucans run the risk of not reaching in 2022 even the 4,7% that Alckmin achieved in 2018.

The PDT candidate? Ah, this one was already all wrong, trying to be the greatest representative of anti-PTism, but not matching the right and at the same time trying to retain a portion of progressive voters. It has been losing votes every day on both sides. In this new scenario, the tendency is for Ciro Gomes to shrink even more quickly. For some time I have been playing at prophesying: Ciro is the new Marina (in 2018, the Network candidate ended up with 1% of the valid votes). The ex-governor of Ceará is perhaps a little more fortunate: he should close with around 3% or 4% of support.

Finally, do not doubt that a good part of the upstairs will operate to put the alternative Sergio Moro on its feet in an attempt to get rid of Bolsonaro and at the same time maintain Paulo Guedes' economic program. If it doesn't work, they will repeat the vote and support the former captain. No shame or blushing. Because what really matters to this group is preventing the victory of a popular-democratic alternative.

Everything put together, everything considered, there is no mystery. None of the third ways will overcome Bolsonaro. And Lula will remain leader. 2022 is Lula against Bolsonaro: and it will be a bloody war.

* Julian Rodrigues is a professor, journalist and activist of the LGBTI and Human Rights movement.


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