Incompetence, inexperience, disarticulation with civilian leaders and inexpressive cadres of the PSL (party for which President Jair Bolsonaro was elected) are pointed out by political scientists heard by the Twitter as some of the reasons why all ministries linked to the Presidency of the Republic are currently occupied by the military.
This “military circle” that was formed in the portfolios linked to the Planalto Palace closed yesterday with the official confirmation of the appointment of General Braga Netto in place of Onyx Lorenzoni at the Civil House.
There are now four military men with ministerial status occupying offices in the Planalto Palace: Braga Netto (Casa Civil); General Luiz Eduardo Ramos (Secretary of Government); General Augusto Heleno (Institutional Security Office) and Reserve Military Police Jorge Oliveira (General Secretariat of the Presidency).
“The president says he is overloaded and that is why he has been looking for people to share duties. This is much more a sign of his incompetence for the position and inexperience in management”, says political scientist Rui Tavares Maluf, professor at Fesp-SP (Fundação São Paulo School of Political Sociology).
“The increasing military presence demonstrates that Bolsonaro has no penetration at all among the civilian leaders. Seeking to compose with the military has a lot to do with preservation in office,” says political scientist Vera Chaia, professor at PUC-SP (Pontifical Catholic University) ).
For Chaia, for being a “weak and expressionless leadership, Bolsonaro seeks to surround himself with projected military personnel”.
Maluf considers that Braga Netto, a former public security intervener in the Rio Government and who has occupied the Army’s General Staff in recent months, represents a sober choice by a careful military man in his relationship with civilians.
“A person who has shown respect to those who oppose the military occupying a very large space, but only the dynamics of events will show whether this will bring about a better relationship with Congress and with other ministers,” he says.
“Bolsonaro is surrounding himself with leaders that he cannot fire, as the spokesman, General Rêgo Barros, is increasingly out of office,” says the professor.
Also contributing to the growth of the military presence in the government was the fact that Onyx Lorenzoni (DEM) did not present the results that the government expected of him, in addition to his rapid wear after the resignation of the Executive Secretary of the Civil House, Vicente Santini, for having traveled alone to India on a FAB plane.
Another reason that increased the military presence in the federal government is the fact that the PSL leaders elected in the wake of the Bolsonaro phenomenon “are nationally meaningless and without technical knowledge. Who was Bivar?”, Says Vera Chaia.
The military, the professor continues, ends up being a technical reserve in a confused government. “They fight terraplanist ministers, for example,” he says.
For Maluf, however, the military presence in the government is not surprising. “Since the campaign, Bolsonaro said that his expectation was to count on the Armed Forces and he acts in that direction, despite his erratic trajectory in the Army.”
Bolsonaro was excluded from the Army after being elected councilor in 1988. Before, he had been arrested and sentenced in the first degree in the Military Justice for acts of indiscipline.
Democracy in danger?
The two teachers, however, differ when analyzing the impact of the military presence in the government for democracy.
Maluf, at first, believes that the excessive military presence “will not mean a rupture of the democratic order” and that the space increasingly occupied by military personnel from the three forces in the government is more a response to the call than a growing search for power.
“More recently, the Armed Forces have sought to demonstrate behavior that respects the Federal Constitution, despite one or another more inflammatory speech,” says the professor.
For Vera Chaia, the military presence gives a bad signal to society. “We are seeing them returning to power [após a ditadura] with enormous tranquility, without resistance. It is very sad after so much struggle for the return of democracy to see soldiers occupying various spaces in the government and in society “, he says.
Vera recalls that in major international crises, such as the fires in the Amazon, the outbreak of the new coronavirus in China and in the episode of oil on the beaches, the Army, Air Force and Navy, respectively, were called. “They gain space precisely because of Bolsonaro’s weakness,” he concludes.