Opinion, by the Michael Royster
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The (now everyday) news about Lava-Jato arrests has begun to spill over into several political arenas. One of these is the appointment of new cabinet ministers, because the latest rumors are that upwards of seventy prominent politicians will eventually be charged as defendants in criminal cases brought before the STF.
Although they deny it, Dilma and her advisers are worried sick that, out of the 39 personages to be appointed Minister, several will be hauled before the STF. Most of Dilma’s key Ministers have come from the ranks of PT, PMDB and PP, exactly those parties which leaked reports say are most implicated.
Did you wonder why Dilma asked for access to the police records where names were fingered by Paulo Roberto Costa? Now you know.
Unfortunately for Dilma, there is very little likelihood that any of the prominent politicos will be identified before next year, because the Federal Police and Public Ministry are being extremely diligent about gathering convincing evidence. Many of the construction company executives who have been arrested are being held for only five days, just enough time for them to be interrogated—and name more names.
So, where can Dilma find competent Ministers? Several of her current crop were part of the Dump Dilma (a/k/a “Volta Lula”) movement, and have resigned while murmuring unpleasantries about the President, so they’re out of the question. Another possible source would be those PT and PMDB politicians who did not get themselves elected in October. But most party faithful look askance at rewarding politicians who are proven losers.
Since Lula’s first election, “minnow” parties within the governing coalition have been handed cash cow ministries. There will be 29 parties represented in Congress next year, of which 22 received less than five percent of the nationwide vote. It’s fair to say these minnows have no people qualified to do anything ministerial, other than employ their cronies.
If you were Dilma, back from Brisbane, what would you do?
The Curmudgeon plans to emit more short(ish) Smidgens opportunely. Stay tuned.