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Congress Considers Constitutional Amendment to Recall Brazilian Presidents

By Richard Mann, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The demonstrations on the streets this Sunday will set the tone for the reaction of Congress, the central target of criticism of actions in favor of President Jair Bolsonaro, reports daily Folha de São Paulo.

This proposal, reported by Senator Antonio Anastasia (PSDB-MG), is ready and enjoys the support of Senate President
The amendment, proposed by Senator Antônio Anastasia (PSDB-MG), is ready and enjoys the support of the Senate President. (Photo Internet reproduction)

Senators and deputies are considering a specific type of political reform with the potential to reduce the term of the Palácio do Planalto’s current occupant, by approving a “recall” for the president and ending re-election for executive positions.

Convinced that political uncertainty may aggravate the crisis, senators consider placing a proposal to amend the Constitution (PEC) on the agenda of the party leader conference on Tuesday, creating the prospect of repeal of a presidential mandate by voters.

This initiative, led by Senator Antônio Anastasia (PSDB-MG), is ready and enjoys the support of Senate President, Davi Alcolumbre (DEM-AP), and Senators from traditional parties MDB, PP, and PSDB.

In practice, the text would permit the president’s dismissal from office without the need for impeachment.

This measure would require signatures from at least 10 percent of citizens who voted in the most recent presidential election. If approved, Congress would call a popular referendum to determine whether or not to repeal the president’s term of office.

The bill is ready to be voted on by the full Senate. If approved, it needs to go to the Chamber of Deputies. If approved in both Houses, it will be up to the entire Congress, with deputies and senators sitting in a joint session, to enact the measure.

As this is a constitutional amendment, Jair Bolsonaro does not have a veto power, unlike in the case of ordinary bills.

Only a Supreme Court decision pointing out some unconstitutionality could nullify the action leading to a referendum, says the news outlet.

Centrão is Discussing Terminating Re-election for Executive Positions

That is not the only reaction. Leaders of Centrão – the largest voting bloc within Congress, comprised of a group of parties – have once again discussed eliminating the re-election of chief executive positions such as the president and state governors.

The assessment is that the agenda would have to be accepted by Bolsonaro, who has also defended the end of re-election during his campaign.

National Congress, Brasilia, Federal District. (Photo Alamy)
National Congress, Brasilia, Federal District. (Photo Alamy)

Among deputies and senators, however, there are those who say that any such measure would “seem opportunistic” and would increase the movement to incite the population against Congress.

The possibility of encouraging further attacks on the political class in general, concerns the presidents of the Senate, Alcolumbre, and the Chamber of Deputies, Rodrigo Maia (DEM-RJ), who are striving to reduce tension in the relationship with the president’s office.

At a meeting with the DEM summit last Tuesday, they assessed that if protests do in fact turn against Congress and the Supreme Court, the government could suffer further defeats in Parliament.

The Constitutional Amendment Proposal (PEC) calling for “recall” has a long way to go to be approved, as it requires needs the positive votes of three-fifths of all members of both the Senate (49 senators) and the Chamber (308 deputies), in two separate voting sessions in each House.

(Source: Folha de S.Paulo)

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