Of the 185 federal deputies who signed in favor of the Constitutional Amendment Proposal (PEC), which limits the presence of active military personnel in civil and political positions, only one congressman is against the impeachment of President Jair Bolsonaro (no party), Deputy Marcel van Hattem, from the Partido Novo, from Rio Grande do Sul.
The information was taken from the Mapa Adeus Bolsonaro platform, which records the position of federal deputies in relation to impeachment.
President Bolsonaro has long shown that he is enthusiastic about the presence of military personnel in government, so much so that today there are more than 6,000 people in uniform and occupying a position in the federal civil administration.
::More than 6,000 military personnel work in civilian positions in the Bolsonaro government, according to a study::
In January 1999, in the government of Fernando Henrique Cardoso (PSDB), there were 1,137 soldiers in the state bureaucracy of the Union. By July 2020, the number had increased to 2,558 appointed soldiers in a year and a half of government.
More recently, the president published Decree No. 10,727, on June 22 of this year, which authorized the occupation of government positions by active soldiers for an indefinite period.
Previously, positions and functions of a military nature in the Federal Supreme Court (STF), in the higher courts, in the Ministry of Defense, in the Union’s General Counsel, in the Federal Military Justice and in the Military Public Ministry, could be occupied by military personnel. active for a maximum of two years.
Currently, of the 23 ministers of state, three are active soldiers: Walter Souza Braga Netto, Army general, at the Ministry of Defence, Augusto Heleno, also Army general, at the Institutional Security Office, and Bento Albuquerque, Navy admiral, at the Ministry of Mines and Energy.
Recently, a report from Brazil in fact it even showed that at least five family members of military personnel appointed to the first echelon of the federal government have been posted to public positions trusted by the federal administration since January 2019.
Isabela Oassé de Moraes Ancora Braga Netto, daughter of Braga Netto; Adriana Haas Villas Bôas, daughter of General Eduardo Villas Bôas; son and wife of squadron admiral and commander of the Brazilian Navy, Almir Garnier Santos; Lucas Faria, son of Brigade General Alcides Valeriano de Faria Junior; Alexandre Figueiredo Costa Silva Marques, son of Ricardo Silva Marques, colonel of the Brazilian Army; the son of General Hamilton Mourão, Antonio Hamilton Rossell Mourão; and Stephanie Santos Pazuello, daughter of General Eduardo Pazuello.
O Brazil in fact he sought the advice of deputy Marcel van Hattem to confirm the parliamentarian’s position. Until the publication of the report, however, there was no response.
And the other deputies?
Although only deputy Marcel van Hattem appears in the survey of the Mapa Adeus Bolsonaro platform as opposed to impeachment, 77 of the other 184 parliamentarians have not yet declared themselves against or in favor of the current president’s departure.
Of those 77 deputies who have not yet manifested themselves, 63 of them, as well as Marcel van Hattem, work in the Chamber of Deputies very close to the Bolsonaro government, according to data taken from the Parliamentary Profile platform.
Of all the votes on projects and measures that took place in the legislative house, the 63 deputies followed the position of the federal government in at least 70% of the time.
Marcel van Hattem, for example, followed the position of the federal government in 86% of the votes. Paulo Pereira da Silva, better known as Paulinho da Força (Solidariedade-SP), follows the government 70% of the time; Aécio Neves (PSDB-MG), in 94%; and Luciano Bivar (PSL-PE), who bet on Bolsonaro in the 2018 elections, in 100% of the votes.
This does not mean, however, that these deputies do not criticize the president. Paulinho da Força, for example, often criticizes Bolsonaro on his social networks.
Now they invented to discuss semi-presidentialism in Brazil. It’s one more way to cover up the bullshit that Bolsonaro does. If we were to really discuss a system, it would be Parliamentarianism. However, it was also rejected in the 1993 referendum.
— Paulinho da Força (@dep_paulinho) July 20, 2021
Bolsonaro’s statements do not intimidate us. We will have elections with an electronic ballot box. We will defend democracy to the end.
— Paulinho da Força (@dep_paulinho) July 9, 2021
In May 2020, in an interview with IstoÉ Magazine, Luciano Bivar even stated that Bolsonaro “fights democracy all the time, and that’s scary”. He defended, at that moment, that the impeachment request was an “understandable” move. Aécio Neves and Marcel van Hattem, on the other hand, have a more restrained posture in the networks.
Among the other 107 who have already shown themselves in favor of opening the process, then Orlando Silva (PCdoB-SP), who votes 35% of the time with the government, and Tabata Amaral (PDT-SP), with 43%. Above that, only eight deputies have expressive percentages.
Composition of the Chamber of Deputies
According to Matheus Albuquerque, political risk analyst at the firm Dharma Political Risk and Strategy, the discrepancy in the behavior of a deputy who is in favor of the PEC, but not overtly in favor of the impeachment of President Bolsonaro, has an explanation.
He cites two points that are important to analyze the “loyalty” of congressmen to the federal government.
The first is the composition of deputies within the Chamber in favor of impeachment. Currently, there is no setting for the process to continue, even with more than 120 impeachment requests on the table of the president of the Chamber of Deputies, Arthur Lira (PP-AL).
To open the process, 342 deputies are needed, out of a total of 513 members of the Chamber. It so happens that, of the total, 388 parliamentarians vote with the government in at least 60% of the projects that are being processed in the Chamber.
Another point is that this does not necessarily mean that these deputies are aligned with the federal government on all agendas. This explains the behavior of parliamentarians in the Military’s PEC.
“The relationship of parliamentarians, to a certain extent, is promiscuous, let’s say. They have their own interests and sometimes the interests of Planalto and the Chamber of Deputies diverge,” he explains. “On this agenda, these interests then diverge. Therefore, this group of parliamentarians ends up guiding the interests that are theirs and not Planalto’s”, says Albuquerque.
::If you shout “take Centrão”, there’s no one left, my brother::
Analyzing the party and ideological profile of the 63 deputies who followed the position of the federal government in at least 70% of the votes, it is a picture closer to the government’s liberal agenda, such as MDB, PSDB, Novo, PL, PP and DEM .
While parliamentarians who have low adherence to the government are from the other ideological spectrum, such as PSOL, PT and PCdoB.
Even though some parliamentarians believe that the federal government betrayed the neoliberal economic agenda, such as Alexandre Frota (PSDB-SP), who voted with the government 94% of the time, but is in favor of impeachment, the data show that the majority thinks the contrary.
According to Albuquerque, the economic agenda is a priority for the government, as it can serve as a trunk so that popularity does not plummet.
This explains, for example, the government’s commitment to dialogue with deputies about economic agendas, and, therefore, the alignment between these deputies and the Planalto in matters other than the Military’s PEC. They are different agendas that arouse different behaviors.
Rafael Cortez, a partner and political scientist at Tendências Consultoria, complements Albuquerque’s thinking by stating that the center’s politicians, which mostly include indefinite deputies, have a “political balance” with the current configuration.
“It’s not by chance that we see them systematically voting with the government’s agenda,” says Cortez.
::Why Bolsonaro seeks alliance with the center, a group that considered “the worst” ::
Just look at the dispute between the center and the military in positions in the ministries. The competition became a little more evident within the Ministry of Health, after allegations of corruption involving the military wing and politicians of the bloc in the purchase of vaccines against covid-19. In this sense, the “presence of the military represents a threat” to these politicians.
The PEC 21/2021 of Deputy Perpétua Almeida (PCdoB-AC) prohibits the participation of active soldiers in positions of a civil nature in the public administration.
In his justification, Almeida defends that it is necessary “to protect the Armed Forces (FFAA) from normal conflicts inherent to politics, and to strengthen the character of the Navy, Army and Air Force as permanent institutions of the State and not of governments”.
In another moment, the parliamentarian states that “the FFAA, and their high and dignified functions of permanent defense of the Homeland, should not be submitted to partisan interests, but they also cannot deviate from their constitutional function to participate in the management of government policies , these, by democratic definition, transitory”.
On the day the proposal was filed in the Chamber of Deputies, on July 14, five former defense ministers released a note in support of the PEC: Nelson Jobim (Lula and Dilma Rousseff administrations); Celso Amorim, Jaques Wagner and Aldo Rebelo (Dilma Rousseff government); and Raul Jungmann (Michel Temer government).
In the document, they ask the National Congress to assume “the role it has and unites us: the defense of our Armed Forces, the services it provided to the country and its status as State institutions, as determined by our Federal Constitution.” For them, the processing of the proposal “will strengthen democracy”.
They also state that “these permanent, national and regular State institutions, organized on the basis of discipline and hierarchy, are not to be confused with governments, as their reason for being is the defense of the motherland and sovereignty”.
Along the same lines, the president of the Federal Council of the Brazilian Bar Association (OAB), Felipe Santa Cruz, stated in a note that lawmakers have a “great opportunity to debate, in a broad and democratic way, the regulation of the participation of members of the Armed Forces in Governments.
It is about preserving democracy and protecting the Forces from processes of politicization”. Currently, the PEC is awaiting the appointment of a rapporteur in the Committee on Constitution and Justice and Citizenship (CCJC).
Edition: Vinícius Segalla