Opinion, by Michael Royster
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Not long ago, there were reports that the TCU, one of Brazil’s government oversight agencies, was actually going to grow teeth and repudiate 2014’s federal statement of accounts, because of the “pedaladas” which are prohibited by the Law on Fiscal Accountability.
Not long ago, there were reports that the TSE, Brazil’s Superior Electoral Court, was actually going to grow teeth and repudiate PT’s statement of accounts for the 2014 presidential election, as having been financed by illegal donations from corrupt companies.
Some of us were so naïve as to believe this might actually happen. The organizers of the street demonstrations on August 16th seem to believe this might happen. Sadly, they’re wrong.
Brazil’s professional politicians are a tough bunch, they know when to attack, when to retreat, when to bob and weave and duck punches. Some of them are being punched; others aren’t. We the public don’t know because the prosecutors and the judge release tidbits of information seemingly randomly.
We do know that the heavy weight of the powerful is now being put upon TCU, so it’s unlikely this entity will have the collective courage to do what is right. High-ranking government ministers, even STF Justices, have been cozying up to the TCU in secret meetings, which can only mean one thing—the dirt will, once again, be swept under the rug. No one who has studied the TCU for any time will be surprised.
Nor will anyone be surprised when the TSE absolves PT and the winning candidates Dilma/Temer of any wrongdoing, notwithstanding incontrovertible evidence of violations of the electoral code. The TSE is headed by Justice Toffoli, whose sole “qualification” for appointment to the STF was his having been PT’s lawyer — with a fantastic track record of exonerating PT politicians.
The oven is being warmed up, the dough is being kneaded, it’s about to be swirled about the head of the pizzaiolo, before the toppings are placed on it and it’s ready to be baked.
Everything ends in pizza.
The Curmudgeon loves Brazil and wishes that all the above were not true.