Bolsonarist strategy

Clara Figueiredo, series_ Brasília_ fungi and simulacra, super court, 2018
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By JOSÉ DIRCEU*

Will the president's counterattack with a General Staff operation save him until 2022?

It is always risky to write based on facts. But we have enough experience and we already know our character well to say, like other analysts, that the President of the Republic, in practice, left the ropes and strengthened his control over key pieces of the chessboard of his government. Braga Netto takes over the Ministry of Defense in place of Fernando Azevedo, who, according to his note and recent events such as statements by the Army's HR director, General Paulo Sérgio, took the opposite line from the government on the most important issue in the country today, the pandemic, it fell because it intended to keep the Armed Forces out of the Bolsonarist strategy.

The statements by deputy Bia Kicis, president of the Constitution and Justice Commission of the Chamber of Deputies, on the same day of the change of command at the Ministry of Defense, make up the scenario of radicalization that Bolsonaro has been designing. The Bolsonarist deputy encouraged, in a post on social networks, the strike by the PMs of Bahia against the Rui Costa government due to a very serious fact that occurred at the weekend, which, however, is not the responsibility of the state government. This is not the first agitation in PMs barracks; there has already been a riot in Ceará. Apart from the fact that Kicis' statements took place shortly after Bolsonarist militias encouraged by Eduardo Bolsonaro started a series of demonstrations at the doors of Army barracks asking for military intervention. What comes next we still don't know.

The exchange of Ernesto Araújo for Carlos França and the appointment of PL deputy Flávia Arruda express the strength of the so-called centrão parties: now PP, PR, PL are in government, guaranteeing, for the time being, a majority capable of preventing the impeachment process . At Itamaraty, the exchange does not express a change in policy, at most in style, but was stimulated by the consensus of senators against Ernesto Araújo, aggravated to the limit after his cowardly attack on Senator Kátia Abreu, president of the Foreign Relations Commission.

In Health, there was indeed a relative change, which demonstrates the government's weakness in the face of growing indignation and opposition to its denialist and criminal policy in the face of the pandemic. Basically, the government had to give in to pressure from the Chamber, through a speech by its president Artur Lira, and from the Senate, with the positions defended by its president Rodrigo Pacheco.

Family Shield

The president moved two more important pieces, a rook and a bishop, the Ministry of Justice and the AGU, his first line of defense after the National Congress with a real risk of having a police state. He placed two bodyguards at these posts – Anderson Torres, a Federal Police chief and close to the family, and André Mendonça, who was already a member of his government – ​​to protect his family and attack his opponents, there is no doubt about it. He kept Luiz Eduardo Ramos at his side in the Civil House. The conclusion of these movements is that the president reinforced his line of defense in Congress and sought to overcome the vetoes, that's right, to two ministers who no longer had any political support, Eduardo Pazuello and Ernesto Araújo. And he placed two faithful in Justice and AGU preparing for the battle that continues and depends on other variables, the pandemic and the economy.

Who is the King and Queen, Bolsonaro or the Armed Forces? This may be the variable that has not yet been clarified, especially with the resignation of the commanders of the three branches, which may indicate a military crisis. And the opponents with the white pieces, the opposition and the people, what will they do, how far will the country support Bolsonaro and his government?

The latest political signs –increased pressure in Parliament and the media, the bankers’ demonstration, Lula’s return with the strength to change the scenario for 22 and, above all, the worsening of the pandemic and the social crisis– indicate an increasing isolation government and real risks of loss of control. After all, the end of emergency aid and the approval of derisory aid to deal with rising prices for the basic basket will increase misery. Hence Bolsonaro's counterattack with a General Staff operation. It remains to be seen if he will save it until 22.

* Jose Dirceu he was Minister of the Civil House in the first Lula government. Author, among other books, of Memoirs (Editorial generation).

Originally published in Power 360.

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