the authoritarian march



The President of the Republic is trying to reduce and, if possible, eliminate the system of checks and balances typical of our political organization.

The decision by STF Minister Alexandre de Moraes to request a search and seizure at the addresses of seventeen involved in the investigation into fake news, resulting in twenty-nine search and seizure actions, represents an important acceleration in the political-institutional conjuncture. The warrants, issued on May 27, come in the wake of a sequence of serious events.

The first worrying fact is the content of the ministerial meeting on April 22nd, released by order of Minister Celso de Mello exactly one month later, on May 22nd. The video made public a series of disturbing facts that indicate an authoritarian march. Among others, there is a speech by the President of the Republic in which he says he is in favor of arming the population to resist the orientation of social isolation that governors and mayors are implementing due to the spread of the coronavirus, following the recommendations of the World Health Organization.

Then, on Tuesday, May 26, the Federal Police carried out a search and seizure operation in Rio de Janeiro at the Guanabara Palace, the official residence of Governor Wilson Witzel. Regardless of the fact that there may or may not have been deviations, the fact is that many analysts interpreted this action as the first result of the change recently made in the Federal Police, particularly in Rio de Janeiro, by the President of the Republic.

This signals the use of the Federal Police against a political opponent, as Governor Witzel has recently become an opponent of the President of the Republic.

Finally, we have the decision of Minister Alexandre de Moraes to investigate through search and seizure a series of characters, businessmen, bloggers, etc. linked to the President of the Republic. This fact constitutes one more point in this escalation of tension that is involving the constitutionally established powers in Brazil.

The substrate of conflicts

It is, in fact, a process that stems from the attempt by the President of the Republic to extend his own power, seeking to dissolve the balance proper to democracy between power and counterpower. He is trying to reduce and, if possible, eliminate the system of checks and balances inherent to our political organization, embodied in the independence of the judiciary and the legislative power.

Jair Bolsonaro rebels against the limitations imposed on executive power by the judiciary and the legislature. It is, however, a movement that is reciprocal because the executive must also limit the power of the legislature and the judiciary. This system was invented by the Americans in the XNUMXth century (and the whole world ended up adopting it) with a view to moving towards dictatorship. It constitutes, therefore, a way of guaranteeing democracy. What we are witnessing, therefore, is the attempt by the two powers, the judiciary and, to some extent, the legislature, to resist a series of actions that are heading towards an extension of executive power.

* André Singer He is a professor at the Department of Political Science at USP.

Article established from an interview given to Gustavo Xavier on USP radio.

See this link for all articles