By Richard Mann, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – After 62 days deliberating on pension reform, the Constitution and Justice Commission (CCJ) gave the green light to the government’s proposal, which will now be subject to merit analysis by the special commission.
The admissibility was approved by 48 votes to 18. The approval was celebrated by governors and booed by the opposition.
The CCJ procedure examining the constitutionality of the text took longer than the government expected, forcing the economic team to give in points at the start.
Despite negotiations, the approved proposal still preserves the saving of R$1.1 trillion estimated by the Minister of Economy, Paulo Guedes, with the approval of the text that was sent to Congress on February 20th.
The voting battle lasted more than eight hours with a series of requests from opposition MPs to postpone the discussion.
The minority leader, Jandira Feghali (PCdoB-RJ), submitted a request to the presiding officer, Rodrigo Maia (DEM-RJ), to suspend the procedure for 20 days alleging the need for the government to send impact figures connected to the proposal.
Pursuant to the result, the opposition said they will seek to annul the vote, classified as “fraudulent” by the PSOL leader in the Chamber, Ivan Valente (São Paulo State).
Although defeated, the minority leader in the House, Jandira Feghali (PCdoB-RJ), said that this was only the first battle. “It’s better to laugh last”, Jandira said.
“The people are going to the streets, this proposal is being voted against the constitution,” said the leader.
The strategy of the oppositionists paralleled the one used in other sessions, marked by turmoil and shouting.
This time, however, the CCJ president, Felipe Francischini (PSL-PR), adopted a much harder stance in conducting the work and prevented suspension of the vote.
Despite appeals from the opposition, Francischini continued the vote without taking the request into account.
Deputy leader of the House of Representatives Darcísio Perondi (MDB-RS) said that the impact of R$1.1 trillion would affect the poorest the most – contrary to the government’s discourse that the greatest contributions will come from the wealthiest and most privileged.