RIO – Opposition parties and civil society organizations presented this Thursday a new impeachment request against President Jair Bolsonaro, in the Chamber of Deputies. The president’s participation in anti-democratic demonstrations, Bolsonaro’s suspected political interference in the Federal Police and the policy to fight the coronavirus are cited among the crimes of responsibility used as an argument for the impeachment request.
Since March, the president has been the target of at least 16 impeachment requests filed with the Chamber of Deputies. The number is equivalent to 69% of all complaints sent to the House (23 in total) that are still under analysis and awaiting indication from Rodrigo Maia. The information was published by O GLOBO columnist Ancelmo Gois.
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The first item of the document is the participation of Bolsonaro in demonstrations that called for the closure of the National Congress and the reissue of Institutional Act nº5. According to the document, Bolsonaro committed a crime of responsibility against the free exercise of legislative and judicial powers and the constitutional powers of the states, as well as a crime of responsibility against the free exercise of political, individual and social rights. The demonstrations are the subject of an investigation by the Supreme Federal Court (STF), which seeks to investigate possible crimes in the organization of acts, including targeting deputies from Bolsonar, such as Daniel da Silveira (PSL-RJ).
Bolsonaro’s suspicions of political interference with the Federal Police are cited as “a serious violation of the republican principle and the constitutional mandate of impersonality in the exercise of public administration”. The document states that the president tried to use his position to achieve personal purposes by safeguarding his family’s interest in police investigations through “access to confidential investigation reports and the attempt to appoint Federal Police officials who are subject to the private nature of the Presidency’s occupant “, constituting a crime against probity in the administration.
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In April, STF minister Alexandre de Moraes ordered the suspension of the appointment of Alexandre Ramagem to the post of director general of the Federal Police due to his connection with the president’s family. Bolsonaro is the target of an investigation in the Supreme Court, which investigates whether there was undue interference with the Federal Police. The investigations were opened at the request of the PGR following accusations made by former Justice Minister Sergio Moro.
The president’s stance in handling the crisis caused by the new coronavirus is also rated as a crime against the country’s internal security. According to the request, Bolsonaro has acted and made pronouncements “reckless and irresponsible of an antagonistic character” to the efforts of the Ministry of Health and several instances of the Federation linked to the Unified Health System (SUS). According to the document, the president has a posture of a character “substantially detrimental to the well-being and protection of life and health of Brazilians, in repeated dangerous disregard for the seriousness of the health emergency decreed by the federal government itself”.
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Bolsonaro is often caught disregarding social distancing rules and health security measures, such as wearing a mask. On several occasions, the president caused a crowd among his supporters, as in his trips to bakeries and pharmacies in Brasília. The president declares that he is against social isolation and calls for the return of trade to work. Distancing is arguably the most effective way to fight the new coronavirus, which has already killed over 18 thousand people in Brazil. This Thursday, Bolsonaro complained about “very strong propaganda” about Covid-19.
There is also a record of Bolsonaro’s attacks on the press. According to the document, there were 179 assaults on journalists until April 30, 2020, including the sexual offense against Folha de S. Paulo journalist Patrícia Campos Mello and the request for journalists to shut up. The request also punctuates some controversial statements by the president, such as the one made in an anti-democratic demonstration on the 19th in front of a HQ in the Army. At the time, the president declared that “We do not want to negotiate anything. We want action for Brazil. What was old was left behind. We have a new Brazil ahead of us. Everyone, without exception, has to be patriotic and believe and do your part so that we can put Brazil in the place of prominence it deserves. The era of patifaria is over. It is now the people in power.
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Among those who sign the document are federal deputy Marcelo Freixo (PSOL), Fernando Haddad (PT), Manuela D’Ávila (PCdoB), Gleisi Hoffmann (PT), the national coordination of the Movement of Struggle in Neighborhoods, Villages and Favelas, National Executive of the Workers’ Cause Party, in addition to senators, Central Directorates of Students and lawyers