The third hypothesis

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By Eugênio Trivinho*

Far from the conservative legal-political dichotomy, Brazil has a more fruitful democratic horizon, to be articulated before and during the impeachment process

The false juridical-political crossroads of the presidential crisis in Brazil currently lies in two alternatives: (1) either keep in the Presidency of the Republic an unconfessed ex-military and pro-militiaman, tutored, as an “orange”, by the generals and with less and less multilateral support for carrying out a classic coup d'état, “closing the clock” on civil liberties in the national territory; (2) or dismiss the guest from the Palácio do Planalto by legal means - with removal or impeachment – and allow the inauguration of the Vice-President, who has more strategic rationality, political skill, institutional credibility and active support in the Beloved Forces and in civil society (in conditions, therefore, to eventually unravel the same disaster).

This conservative dichotomy, precarious at all, became more evident after the COVID-19 pandemic broke the country's sanitary customs at the end of last February. In the meantime, the picaresque episodes carried out by the guest of the Palace, including the resignation of the Minister of Health in the midst of the viral advance, evidenced his total executive unpreparedness and lack of leadership in favor of consistently confronting the situation. The ex-soldier turned out to be the unbridled podium of the government's own efforts, instead of the main ballast of overcoming.

How, at this point of several intertwined crises, not even political naivety would choose to make the second hypothesis more flexible – for example, by suture in favor of republican-democratic guarantees in the light of the Federal Constitution of 1988 –; and how the removal or the impeachment of the Palace guest is already a question of urgent public decency, prudence recommends focusing on another seam, in a more radical hypothesis – from the Latin radicalis, regarding radix, root, that is, in casu, root base policy, radix popularis –, a more independent, virtuous and fruitful alternative, beyond the conventional binarisms of the conservative political imaginary. The strategic foundations of this seam, already in circulation, are translated into three related actions, namely:

(1) demand the dismissal of the two agents (President and Vice-President), based on constitutional and legal precepts;

(2) sworn in, FOR A DETERMINED TIME, a Civil Board made up of parliamentarians from the Chamber of Deputies and the Federal Senate; It is

(3) hold, AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, new presidential elections (at the most opportune moment, in line with the overcoming of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country).

This hypothesis (or another similar one, even better), flourishing where the first political power resides, the people, is fully foreseen in Article 1, Sole Paragraph, of the Brazilian Magna Carta. The device, to remind you, rule that power, emanating from the people, can be exercised directly, without mediation, as long as it is within the constitutional framework.

From the point of view of the progression of political effects after an idea begins to circulate – a moment that this article only endorses, reinforcing it –, it matters little whether it needs to face strong opposition and/or is received with reservations. This precept is valid both in spheres where there should be less “friendly fire”, and in the face of a militarized institutional transition with a more “natural” legalist tendency, which, in addition to being wrong, is a deception. The horizon of the third hypothesis – holding new elections – is certainly difficult. Worse, however, is the current transition agenda and/or what may happen afterwards, if another political imaginary is not claimed.

After the dramatic experience of 21 years of military-civil-business dictatorship, the result of the 2018 election and just over a year of neoliberal debacle under neo-fascist corollary (civil, military, police and militia), the leftist forces e Progressives in Brazil know, in their blood, more than anyone else, that a major failure in terms of democracy and freedom is capable of putting, with white gloves, the horizons of millions of people on the table of the worst omens.

Strictly speaking, the third hypothesis is, like a card on the table, very simple. To give food for thought, no more words are needed for the moment.

* Eugene Trivinho is professor of communication and semiotics at the Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo (PUC-SP).

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