The Brazilian Scene – XXIII

Image: Silvia Faustino Saes
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By BENÍCIO VIERO SCHMIDT*

Comments on recent events

Events in Afghanistan will have many consequences for the entire world. Visible weakening of the US imperial position, as a builder of democratic nations according to the unipolar standard, to international discredit; as well as the emergence of a more prominent role to be played by China in its neighborhood and possible alliances with Russia. These are some of the consequences of the Taliban's return to power. The guarantee of conquests already acquired in the recent experience makes the Taliban's performance an unknown on the international scene. In any case, the disruption of a political order based on imperialist military occupation by another, emerging from radically theocratic canons, arises as a question and reopens the discussion on the possibilities of democracy – western standard – in countries with different historical backgrounds.

In Brazil, we follow a tortuous path increasingly marked by economic and financial instability, affecting political coexistence, the position of political parties and market expectations.

The president has just delivered to the Federal Senate an impeachment request against Minister Alexandre de Moraes (STF), with a view to dramatically contesting the accusations of attacks on democracy, especially through fake news, which he has been the target of along with a select group of supporters, including his private lawyer. With little chance of success, he demands a change in the internal rules of the STF to regulate its relations with the presidency of the republic. It serves, however, to incite the fighting spirit of its hosts on the eve of war calls for the immediate future.

Meanwhile, the Senate will have to face an unavoidable role: it will have to manifest itself regarding the labor mini-reform and the project to change the electoral system, already approved by the Federal Chamber. The (partial) labor reform makes labor rights even more precarious, prevents free access to the Labor Court and has, as one of its consequences, the weakening of the social security system due to the lack of contributions from “self-employed” workers.

The issue involving the electoral system concerns the adoption of coalitions and party federations, abolished in the last elections (PEC). Senators want to maintain the 2017 decision, which put an end to proportional coalitions and forced participation in the election on a single ticket within the party itself. Measure that came into force in the 2020 elections.

The payment of precatorios (R$ 89 billion) creates an impossibility of reforming the Brazil Aid. The Ministry of Economy wants legal changes that divide the payment of Union debts above R$ 66 million in ten years with correction for the inflation of the period. The PEC of Precatorios still needs to be voted by the House and the Senate.

Difficult votes, with different support in both Houses; and in the Senate there is much more opposition to the Executive, in this pre-election moment with pressure on social assistance spending.

Fires continue, affecting about 20% of the national territory in the last three decades. A dramatic finding that permanently puts Brazil in the spotlight.

With the constant dissemination of opinion polls, a situation of a government in firm disapproval and the consolidation of opposition candidacies, with enormous prominence for the name of Lula, is taking shape. Business demonstrations and large investors have also followed the trend of repudiation of the government, under the auspices of a floating ship disembarking.

In addition, it is expected that the institutions will be preserved and active in the face of the possibility of disturbances called by the Bolsonarist hordes on the coming September 7th.

*Benicio Viero Schmidt is a retired professor of sociology at UnB and a consultant for Empower Consult. Author, among other books, of The State and urban policy in Brazil (LP&M).

 

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