By Arkady Petrov
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Five opposition parties in the Chamber of Deputies have announced that they will henceforth obstruct the entire voting agenda in the Lower House.
This yet another development resulting from irregularly-obtained and leaked messages disclosed by The Intercept Brasil on Sunday, 9th, regarding an alleged scheme by the former federal judge and current Justice Minister and Sérgio Moro and Lava Jato’s federal prosecutors to convict former president Lula.
The obstruction tactic was announced on Monday, June 10th, after a round of meetings involving the Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB), the Democratic Labour Party (PDT), the Worker’s Party (PT), the Socialism and Liberty Party (Psol), and the Communist Party of Brazil (PCdoB) in São Paulo and Brasília.
“We are not going to vote on anything else; we are not going to permit the submission of a report on pension reform, we are not going to allow anything to pass in the House until concrete action is taken. This is one of the greatest scandals in the Brazilian republic,” said minority leader Jandira Feghali (PCdoB-RJ).
The parties pointed out that they have already joined forces to talk to leaders of parties in the center block, including the liberal right, and with the Chamber president, Rodrigo Maia (DEM-RJ), in an attempt to broaden the range of the obstruction and also to take measures in connection with the case.
This is yet another dramatic development, following the Brazilian Bar Association’s recommendation on Monday of the suspension of the officials named by The Intercept.
“It is up to us — to this Chamber, to the parliament, and not only to the left and the opposition — to engage in investigations, because it has a great impact on Brazilian democracy, on the democratic rule of law. It is not only a matter for the left, but for the parliamentary institution, and it is also a matter for the Federal Supreme Court and the Federal District Attorney’s Office. These are criminal actions against Brazilian laws”, Jandira pointed out, quoting the Codes of Civil and Criminal Procedure and also the code of ethics of members of the Federal Public Prosecutor Office (MPF).
The opposition is calling for Moro to be dismissed as Minister of Justice and for the suspension of Federal Prosecutors Laura Tessler and Deltan Dallagnol, both members of Lava Jato, the latter as the coordinator of the task force.
“We hope that various leaders, with different political and ideological views, will accept all the positions on the table, from the creation of a CPI (parliamentary committee of inquiry) summons, until it is viable that either he [Moro] is out or will have to answer to the legislative branch somehow,” said Ivan Valente, leader of the PSOL bench (SP), adding that reports not yet published by The Intercept on the case may help to enlarge the opposition movement and gain new support.
The parties also call for the prosecutors’ cell phones to be collected as a way of preserving the evidence supporting the case and ensuring its expert examination. The leaders stated they were considering ways to officially demand access to applications.
A potential Joint Parliamentary Committee of Inquiry (CPMI) on the case is on the radar. Legally, the parties are examining the option of filing criminal and civil lawsuits for misconduct against the accused.