In Congress, everyone knows about the party and the strange ways in which candidates for alternate candidates for the Senate are chosen. Today, each senator is entitled to two alternates. In general, they choose their relatives or campaign funders for the vacancy.
Senator Chico Rodrigues (DEM-RR) was caught by the Federal Police with more than R $ 30,000 hidden between his buttocks, but even so he gave up trying to take advantage. In this case, through the vacancy of an alternate.
The congressman even announced that he would ask for a 90-day leave of absence. The same suspension term that Minister Luís Roberto Barroso, of the Federal Supreme Court, wanted to impose on him.
Pure cleverness: “You don’t need to suspend me, because I take my leave and leave the Senate for this period”, is the message he sent with his gesture to the Supreme and his colleagues in the Senate. It worked: Barroso lifted the suspension.
But then Chico discovered that, with 90 days away, his alternate could not take over. And who is the alternate senator? His son, Pedro Arthur Pereira Rodrigues.
Yeah. Substitutes will only take over in the event of the holder’s license, if the term of absence is greater than 120 days. What did Chico Rodrigues do? He extended his license request to 121 days. One more than necessary for the son to receive the senator’s salary and benefits.
It is not for nothing that the class in Congress avoids ending such a perk.
On the eve of the 2018 election, parliamentarians decided to vote on a political reform project. The rapporteur, then deputy Vicente Cândido (PT-SP), decided that it was possible to extinguish the election of alternate for the Senate as a way to improve political representation. Allow him to assume who actually has a vote.
In his opinion, Cândido proposed that, in the event of a vacancy, the federal deputy of the same party with the most votes in the state would take the place of the senator.
Parliamentarians buried the idea. Of that reform, what was most important approved in plenary, even, was the creation of the Party Fund, with billions of reais to finance electoral campaigns. But that’s another story.
Currently sleeping in the Senate, on the same subject, a Constitutional Amendment Proposal of 2015, PEC number 20. The author, Telmário Mota, is affiliated with the PROS of Roraima, the same state as Chico Rodrigues.
The PEC reduces the number of alternate senators from two to one, and prohibits a slate from being composed of the spouse, partner or relative of the holder. It is the reissue of another bill from 2011, which was rejected by senators in 2013.
The now rapporteur, Senator Marcos Rogério (DEM-RO), has been in charge of giving his opinion since August last year. Sought by the blog, he did not answer.
Telmário himself used substitution to pay a kind of electoral debt. Its southerner, Thieres Pinto (today at PTB) is a cameraman whose team worked at modest prices in the campaign in exchange for the promise that he would take office for a while. It happened, between December 2016 and April 2017. Thieres has already returned the vacancy to the holder.
It is a win-win game for politicians that will be difficult to end. The Senate website states that, between 2015 and 2023 (the term of senators lasts 8 years), 18 alternates have already taken office.
Interesting cases entered the story. Like the fight between former senator Saturnino Braga (PT-RJ) and the president of the PDT, Carlos Lupi.PT-RJ).
An electoral agreement for the formation of the slate in Rio de Janeiro prompted Saturnino to sign a document promising Lupi, his alternate, that he would take over after four years in office. Yes, written promise to deliver the mandate to those who did not have votes.
After four years, Lupi charged, Saturnino admitted to having signed the document, but said that the agreement lost its value with the breaking of the political alliance for the following elections. Lupi went to court with a request to revoke the former ally’s mandate. But he did not succeed.
By law, the mandate belongs to those who have a vote. Or at least it should be