Protests erupted in Brazil after court authorized investigation of Bolsonaro
Thousands of protesters across Brazil protested against President Jair Bolsonaro this weekend over pressure from the populist leader for alleged corruption in the procurement of Covid-19 vaccines getting bigger.
The rally was held in at least 13 state capital cities. One day ago, the Supreme Court authorized a criminal investigation into whether Bolsonaro was engaged in the crime of “prevarication”, that is, negligence of duty for personal gain.
Bolsonaro was accused of failing to act on suspected misconduct because a whistleblower from the Ministry of Health claimed to have personally filed with him against the 1.6 billion reais ($320 million) acquisition of 20 million produced by India’s Bharat Biotech Concerns about the transaction of support for Covaxin.
This scandal This issue came to the fore after Luis Ricardo Miranda, the director of the import department of the ministry, highlighted the suspected violations in invoices. The civil servant said he was pressured by a senior government official to execute the order.
Miranda and his brother, a federal congressman, testified last month Congress investigation They have referred the issue to the President of Brazil, who promised to raise the matter to the police. However, the Federal Police stated that they had not received any request for investigation.
The ministers denied that there was a violation of the Covaxin agreement, which involved an intermediary company, and insisted that no payment was made because any batch of vaccine has not yet been delivered. Bolsonaro and Bharat have previously denied any wrongdoing in the supply of Covaxin. On the recommendation of the Federal Auditor General, the Ministry of Health temporarily suspended the contract.
More than half a million people died Coronavirus disease In the most populous country in Latin America, the dispute has become a political problem for the Bolsonaro government. The return of protesters to the streets of big Brazilian cities puts pressure on the president before his re-election campaign next year.
Many people claimed that the populist leader who had criticized the blockade and belittled the use of masks was negligent in responding to the epidemic.
“The’silent’ majority opposed to the president began to take to the streets, led by the left, but the support of centrist voters is increasing. The wheels are forcibly opposing the president,” Mario Marconini, managing director of Teneo, Brazil ) Say.
However, political analysts are skeptical of the investigation’s potential impact. Any criminal charges against the President require the support of two-thirds of the House of Commons in order to proceed. Given Bolsonaro’s network of alliances in Parliament, this is an unlikely outcome.
“If the Attorney General nominated by Bolsonaro decides that there is sufficient evidence to prosecute him, the Supreme Court will need the approval of the House of Commons to move forward, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives Arthur Lilla cannot do anything about it,” said the politician Eduardo Mello . Scientists from the Getúlio Vargas Foundation emphasized the alliance between Bolsonaro and Lira.
A group of left-wing and right-wing representatives filed new impeachment requests last week, but the prospects for now appear to be bleak. Lira, the leader of the House of Commons, who must approve any request, has not indicated his intention to initiate proceedings until now.
Lucas de Aragão, a partner at consulting firm Arko Advice, said: “Bolsonaro still maintains a 25% approval rating in the polls, and his allies in parliament are in a good position. “This scandal is destructive, but not necessarily fatal.”