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Weekly Political Landscape – 13 – 17/11

WEEKLY POLITICAL landscape
Scenarios, Analysis and Political Projections in the Federal Capital

Week 13/11/2017 to 17/11/2017

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Special:

  • President Temer’s strategy to Negotiate in 2018 – Although President Temer is politically weak, an uncharismatic figure with the lowest popularity ever seen since the redemocratization, he and his ministers do not seem to mind this scenario and continues to calculate all their actions with a single parameter: the elections 2018.

Legislative Branch:

  • Deputies and Senators extend Holiday Week – With the holiday of the Proclamation of the Republic on Wednesday (15), the Lower House had an empty week and no deliberations took place in neither Houses, both in the Plenary and in the committees.

Executive Branch:

  • Split within the PSDB forces a ministerial reform – On Monday (13), the former Minister of Cities, Bruno Araújo (PSDB), sent President Temer his letter of resignation. The act makes clear the ministerial reform to be promoted by the government to give more space to the “Centrão” in spite of the PSDB, which is split between parliamentarians who defend or not the rupture with the government.
  • Contrary to Maia’s recommendations, Temer edits MP to change points in Labor Reform – The President publish, this Tuesday (14), the Provisional Measure 808/2017, which make changes to the Labor Reform. The MP edition contradicts the recommendation of the President of the Lower House, Rodrigo Maia (DEM-RI) who defends that the modifications should be made through a Bill.

Judiciary Branch:

  • Federal Police operation targets Alerj President – The Federal Police held this Tuesday (14), the operation “Old Jail”, an unfolding of the Lava Jato Operation. The President of the Rio de Janeiro Assembly, Jorge Picciani (PMDB), state deputies Paulo Melo (PMDB) and Edson Albertassi (PMDB), the businessman Felipe Picciani, and ten other people were the target of the operation for corruption and other crimes involving Alerj.
  • MP requests blockade of US$ 24 million from ex-president Lula – The Federal Public Ministry of Brasília has asked the court to block US$ 24 million in assets and values from the former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and his youngest son, Luis Cláudio. The blocking request was made under Operation Zelotes in which Lula and his son are defendants.

 

SPECIAL TEMER GOVERNMENT – THE PRESIDENT WORKS TO BE A STRATEGIC PLAYER IN THE 2018 ELECTORAL RACE AND CHOOSE YOUR SUCCESSOR. IN ADDITION TO SEEKING TO PRESERVE HIS LEGACY IN THE DEBATES OF THE CAMPAIGN, TEMER WORKS TO ULTIMATELY MAINTAIN HIS SPECIAL JURISDICTION AND OF HIS MINISTERS AFTER JANUARY 2019.

 

President Temer’s strategy to Negotiate in 2018 – Although President Temer is politically weak, an uncharismatic figure with the lowest popularity ever seen since the redemocratization, he and his ministers do not seem to mind this scenario and continues to calculate all their actions with a single parameter: the elections 2018. Temer, Padilha and Moreira Franco are working on the strategy of building a political-electoral alliance that has a competitive presidential candidate who has concrete chances of winning the race and still defends throughout the campaign the political legacy left by the Government. In this context, Ministers Padilha and Moreira still dare to maintain the discourse that a project for the re-election of President Temer should not be discarded, even though he knows intimately that this hypothesis has no basis for becoming a reality. The objective, logically, is to keep the president as an actor with the power to sit at the table of alliance negotiations and try to impose conditions. One possibility would be the sponsor a presidential candidate within the PMDB itself, or at least one who clearly symbolizes a choice of governing continuity, such as Minister Meirelles (PSD) of the Treasury. President Temer is the leader of the PMDB and has strong cards up his sleeve, including the territorial capillarity of the party machine and, fundamentally, the control of the largest slice of TV time and campaign fund created recently through the passage of political reform. The president knows that his government will be easily targeted by the opposition candidates – Lula, Bolsonaro, Marina, Ciro, etc. PMDB itself, the PP, PSD, PR, PRB, PTB, SD -, as well as the DEM and the PSDB, are prepared to face the erosion of defending it, whether in the campaign or in the expected to form a new government starting in 2019.

 

Bet on Economic Recovery – Minister Meirelles and President Temer are keen to take advantage of every event or interview to highlight the economic recovery and place emphasis on positive growth expectations for 2018, right through the election year. The desire to keep alive the possibility of an approval of the pension reform, for example, goes into this calculation to nourish the expectations of economic agents about the possibility of a return to confidence and an increase in private investment. In the case of the Pension Reform, even if a text that has been emptied in relation to the original proposal is approved, the measure will have a high symbolic effect that will support the Government, either economically or politically, while maintaining the negotiating power of Temer in the plan electoral.

 

Keep the Special Jurisdiction is Temer’s Goal – While 100% of the politicians investigated in Lava Jato struggle to maintain/recover an elective mandate at the state or federal level, President Temer and ministers Padilha and Moreira know they have no chance at the polls. A naive interpretation would believe in the Government’s speech, which has prioritized with exclusivity is the Brazil replacement “in the tracks” of economic recovery. If that were the case, once the current government was closed, the president and his ministers would go home and face, resignedly, the first instance of the Judiciary, including the possibility of the jail. Lava Jato’s bloodletting has been stagnating for those who have a privileged forum, and President Temer calculates every political action today to stay in that privileged club. Within the negotiations of political alliances, in addition to the TV time of the financial resources of the PMDB, President Temer will negotiate the political support of him and his palace minions to probably obtain the nomination to some position of confidence and thus to protect itself of the legal threats which afflict the “no-forum”.

 

Legislative Branch

 

Deputies and Senators extend Holiday Week – With the holiday of the Proclamation of the Republic on Wednesday (15), the Lower House had an empty week and no deliberations took place in neither Houses, both in the Plenary and in the committees. The phenomenon was already expected due to the announcement of the mayor, Deputy Rodrigo Maia (DEM-RJ), who would not hold sessions in the deliberative in the House Plenary. Senate President Eunício Oliveira (PMDB-CE) called a meeting on Tuesday (14), the eve of the holiday, however, there was no minimum quorum for deliberation and the assessment of the agenda was postponed to next week.

 

Provisional measure modifying labor reform arrives at Lower House – The House President, deputy Rodrigo Maia (DEM-RJ), has defended in an interview that the government should refer the possible adjustments to Labor Reform, approved in July, in the form of a bill so that the matter could be widely discussed in the Legislative. However, in the afternoon of the same day, was published in an extra edition of the Official Diary of the Union the Provisional Measure (MP) nº 808, 2017, that change the labor reform. To Maia, the sending the material in the form of MP represents improper interference of the Executive in the Legislative which, according to him, puts himself at the head of the whole society, taking the decision with immediate effectiveness before putting in discussion in Parliament. Maia also pointed out that many judges should await the conclusion of the MP process in Congress before putting labor reform into practice, which may delay its implementation. The House president also commented about the Government forecast refer through a bill to privatize Eletrobras, pointed that this allows a special commission installation in House exclusively to further discuss the matter. For some time, Maia has been dissatisfied with the amount of MPs issued by the government that bar the Plenary deliberation agenda. A new indisposition with the mayor may be even more dangerous now that the PSDB is gradually leaving the allied base and can take with it the DEM, party of Maia. Congress will now have 120 days running, to approve, amend or reject the text, which must pass through a joint committee before being considered in the House and Senate Plenaries.

 

Planalto should step up efforts to approve reforms – With the departure of Bruno Araújo (PSDB-PE) from the Ministry of Cities, President Michel Temer should intensify the articulation with the so-called “Centrão” parties to raise the necessary support to approve the Social Security reform. Since the Plenary vote on the first complaint, PR, PP, PRB, PTB, PSD and others pressured the Government for a ministerial reform that would reduce PSDB participation in government, with half of its deputies having voted against Temer. With the landing of Araújo, the command of one of the most important ministries in electoral years is vacant, having a large number of resources and controlling popular social programs, such as Minha Casa Minha Vida. Thus, the process of the gradual exit of the PSDB from the allied base begins, of negotiation and exchange of positions for support in the House. Senate leader Romero Jucá (PMDB-RR) has already announced that Temer should carry out a comprehensive ministerial reform by December of this year, changing up to 17 of the 28 ministries that the current administration has in place to better accommodate the parties of the “Centrão” and to guarantee enough support to approve a basic text of Social Security reform.

 

Executive Branch

 

Split within the PSDB forces a ministerial reform – On Monday (13), the former Minister of Cities, Bruno Araújo (PSDB), sent President Temer his letter of resignation. The act makes clear the ministerial reform to be promoted by the government to give more space to the “Centrão” in spite of the PSDB, which is split between parliamentarians who defend or not the rupture with the government. Since the vote of the second denouncement, “Centrão” parties have taken up more space in exchange for the support they offered to stop the denunciation, and for this, they demand that the government punish parties that have betrayed the basis of the vote, such as the PSDB. In addition, these acronyms have already signaled that the Social Security Reform should only be supported if the Governments reallocates its portfolios, increasing its influence in the government. In a statement, on Tuesday (14), the Government announced that it will promote ministerial reform to be completed by mid-December. The departure of Bruno Araújo shows that the disembarkation of the PSDB of the government has already begun since, in the justification in his resignation letter, Araújo points out that he no longer had the approval of his party to occupy the portfolio. Beyond the Cities, the PSDB also holds the Government Office (Antônio Imbassahy), Foreign Relations (Aloysio Nunes) and Human Rights (Luislinda Valois). The licensed leader of the acronym, Senador Aécio Neves (MG), has already announced that the party should leave the Executive gradually. In addition, another factor that accentuates the ministerial reform is the deadline for ministers wishing to take part in the 2018 general elections, which are expected to leave office until April next year. Initially, Temer had considered promoting ministerial reform in December of that year, however, as 17 of his ministers are expected to run for general elections, the breadth of substitution could weaken relations between the government and its base parties. In addition, some of the current ministers did not make clear their intention to bid for 2018 and pointed out that a premature departure from office would hurt the achievement of their projects as ministers. Therefore, one of the challenges of the government until the end of the year is to reconcile the approval of the Pension Reform, requiring the support of the grassroots parties in Lower House, with the relocation of ministerial leadership for next year.

 

Contrary to Maia’s recommendations, Temer edits MP to change points in Labor Reform – The President publish, this Tuesday (14), the Provisional Measure 808/2017, which make changes to the Labor Reform. The MP edition contradicts the recommendation of the President of the Lower House, Rodrigo Maia (DEM-RI) who defends that the modifications should be made through a Bill. Temer defended the agreement reached with the base in the Federal Senate, which consisted in the full approval of the Labor Reform in the manner approved by the House so that there could be modifications suggested by means of a Provisional Measure issued as soon as the law came into force. Maia said after the MP edition that although he considered the path chosen by the president as weakening the sanctioned Law, MP will govern the House due to the agreement reached with the Federal Senate. The main altered points are the removal of pregnant women and infants from unhealthy activities, allowing them to act in areas of average insalubrity when there is medical authorization for such. In addition, the measure establishes the period of 18 months for the transition from the contract of indefinite period to intermittent contract, this period will be valid until 2020. In addition, the text of the MP states that the 12×36 working day must be negotiated by agreement or collective bargaining agreement and changes the use of salary as a parameter of payment of compensation for moral damages. Senator Flexa Ribeiro (PSDB-PA) argued that the presentation of a bill would be better suited to this occasion, to expand the debate and allow for more consideration, since the procedure for Provisional Measures is more accelerated and they will take effect as soon as published. On the other hand, Flexa pointed out that the urgency of the changes, since the Labor Reform Law came into force on the last 11, is necessary. The opposition, in turn, has signaled mobilization to submit amendments that alter the text of the MP.

 

President Temer participates of the event about entrepreneurship – The President Michel Temer participated, last Thursday (16), of the opening of the Global Entrepreneurship Week, an event promoted by Sebrae. In his speech, the president addressed the Labor Reform as essential to fostering entrepreneurship in the country. For Temer, flexibility in labor laws will help create new jobs by regulating new types of contracts, such as the intermittent. In addition, Temer highlighted the initiative of the “Growing Without Fear” program, which consists of simplifying the conditions for small businesses such as increasing revenues to participating in the National Simples and expanding the installment of small business debts. Sebrae President Guilherme Afif participated in the event and praised the government’s initiatives to promote entrepreneurship in the country, as well as suggesting the creation of a Positive Register of Micro and Small Companies, in order to reward non-compliant entrepreneurs. According to President Michel Temer, the initiative will be supported by the Government. Afif intends, with the support of the government, to accelerate the process of Complementary Law Project No. 171/2012, which is currently being processed by the Lower House, through an emergency regime. The text contemplates the creation of the Positive Register for microentrepreneurs and the refinancing of debts of companies to avoid their exclusion from the National Simples. Finally, the proposal creates the Simple Credit Enterprise modality, which may allow the ordinary citizen to cede resources to legal entities. On the occasion, President Michel Temer announced that he will offer support to the initiatives pointed out by Afif.

 

Judiciary Branch

 

Federal Police operation targets Alerj President – The Federal Police held this Tuesday (14), the operation “Old Jail”, an unfolding of the Lava Jato Operation. The President of the Rio de Janeiro Assembly, Jorge Picciani (PMDB), state deputies Paulo Melo (PMDB) and Edson Albertassi (PMDB), the businessman Felipe Picciani, and ten other people were the target of the operation for corruption and other crimes involving Alerj. The businessman Jacob Barata Filho, the ‘King of the Bus’, and the ex-president of the Federation of Passenger Transport Companies of the State of Rio (Fetranspor), Lélis Teixeira, are also in the sights of the operation. The investigation indicates the existence of clear legislative action of these parliamentarians in favor of the interests of Fetranspor, indicating also a great patrimonial evolution of the involved ones since they entered the political activity; and incompatible with the income inherent to the positions held. Request of Prison – Businessman Felipe Picciani, brother of Sports Minister Leonardo Picciani, was arrested as early as Tuesday, the others were only taken to testify, considering that they have the prerogative of the forum. However, on Thursday (16), unanimously, the federal judges of the Federal Regional Court of the 2nd Region (TRF-2) decided for the preventive detention of the state deputies Jorge Picciani, Paulo Melo and Edson Albertassi. All three surrendered the same day and they were prisoners of Benfica public chain, where all prisoners of the Lava Jato are. Alerj reverses the decision – According to the state constitution, it is up to the Legislative Assembly to ratify requests for arrest against parliamentarians. Due to the urgency of the topic, Alerj called an extraordinary session for Friday (17), when the MPs decided, by 39 votes to 17, to revoke the arrest of Picciani, Paulo Melo, and Albertassi. The vote came amid protests outside the Assembly.

 

MP requests blockade of US$ 24 million from ex-president Lula – The Federal Public Ministry of Brasília has asked the court to block US$ 24 million in assets and values from the former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and his youngest son, Luis Cláudio. The blocking request was made under Operation Zelotes in which Lula and his son are defendants. The request must still be accepted or not by the 10th Federal Court of Brasilia, which ordered the blockade. Lula is accused of issuing a provisional measure to favor companies in the automotive sector in exchange for receiving a tip.

 

1st Panel maintains in the STF investigated in the Inquiry of the senator Aécio Neves – By a majority of votes, the 1st Panel of the Federal Supreme Court (STF) decided to keep in court the investigations against all the accused in the investigation in which Senator Aécio Neves (PSDB-MG) is investigated for the alleged practice of crimes of passive corruption and obstruction of justice. The understanding prevailed that, at this time, the dismemberment would undermine the progress of the investigations. The rapporteur, Minister Marco Aurelio, had determined that the investigations concerning Andrea Neves da Cunha, Mendherson Souza Lima, and Frederico Pacheco de Medeiros were ordered to be referred to the lower court on the grounds that, in criminal proceedings, the STF has strict jurisdiction, and must prosecute and prosecute only authorities with forum prerogative. The Attorney General’s Office (PGR) appealed the decision, believing that there would be damage to the investigations since they refer to a single allegedly criminal offense – requesting US$ 2 million from Joesley Batista to help defray Aecio’s defense Neves in investigations of Operation Lava-Jato.

 

Judge denies for the 2nd time homologate agreement which avoids the Mantega prison – The judge Ricardo Leite, of the 10th Federal Court of Justice in Brasilia, deny this Thursday (16), for the second time, homologate agreement between the ex-minister Guido Mantega and the Attorney of the Republic in the Federal District. The agreement was signed in September, in the framework of Operation Bullish – which investigates whether JBS was favored in operations of the National Bank for Economic and Social Development (BNDES). Under the agreement, Mantega would provide information on the suspicions involving BNDES on lendings to JBS and, in return, the Prosecutor’s Office would not request his arrest. In October, Ricardo Leite had already denied approval of the agreement, but Mantega’s defense appealed. The agreement signed is a Term of Science and Commitment, the first step towards the signing of the award-winning collaboration agreement.

 

Lewandowski returns to PGR marketeer betrayal before decide if homologate – The judge of STF Ricardo Lewandowski return to PGR the awarded betrayal agreement of the marketeer Renato Pereira and removed the interviews secrecy. The marketeer worked in political campaigns of the Rio de Janeiro governor, Luiz Fernando Pezão, the ex-governor Sérgio Cabral and the ex-mayor of Rio Eduardo Paes. On the decision, Lewandowski request adjustments on the benefits awarded to Pereira. The marketer agreement with the Public Prosecution set, for example, that Pereira fulfills penalty only for crimes of a campaign of Pezão in 2014, leaving out 7 other criminal facts confessed by Renato Pereira in other campaigns. On depositions, Pereira confesses supposed slush funds on the Pezão campaign; the use of resources from money laundering; avoidance of foreign currency without declaration to Revenue. Prosecutor Raquel Dodge appealed on Wednesday (15) to Lewandowski’s decision that he has withdrawn the secrecy of the award-winning impersonation of the marketer Renato Pereira, which has not yet been ratified. In her appeal, the prosecutor says that the measure may jeopardize the continuity of investigations into crimes committed in Rio de Janeiro and also jeopardize the safety of the employee and his family. Dodge also noted that not all the content of the agreement was disclosed as a result of leaks and that, therefore, there is no reason for the official disclosure of everything in the records.

 

Ex-governor of Mato Grosso do Sul is arrested in action investigating frauds – Ex-governor of Mato Grosso do Sul André Puccinelli (PMDB) and his son, André Puccinelli Júnior, was arrested on Tuesday morning (14) in Campo Grande, in the operation Papiros de Lama, 5th phase of the Lama Asfáltica operation, which establishes corruption in the state administration prior to the current one. According to the investigations of the Federal Police, Federal Comptroller General’s (CGU) and Federal Revenue Service, former governor André Puccinelli is appointed the head of a bribe scheme that has existed for more than 10 years in Mato Grosso do Sul. The amount of proven deviation, until now, its R$ 235 million. After interviews and custody audience both were released through a Habeas Corpus granted by the Federal Regional Court of the 3rd Region.

 

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