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Rui Tavares Maluf

January 8th 2023


Article posted Monday, January, 8th, 2024

By Rui Tavares Maluf *

To know exactly whether the popular attack to the headquarters of the three republican powers exactly one year ago and one week later the inauguration of the term of president Luis Inacio Lula da Silva’s was part of a planned coup d’etat or only a destructive mob as try to argue the supporters of former president Jair Bolsonaro does not reduce a little the high responsibility of all of them to weaken the Brazilian democracy and to use violence as if it was a fair way of action.

It became almost a semantic question to admit that the way the mob acted was not coordinated because there wasn't any leader in the field; it would be ‘spontaneous’. However the only reason the mob was there and did what it did was built on a source of inspire. Saying with other words: each person who was there had the example of a former president who along his term menaced and offended publicly judicial authorities of the Supreme Court and all his adversaries in Parliament treating them as enemies when they didn’t accept his measures. He spent all his term doing it. He did not protect the people against the pandemy of covid-19 and took decisions to buy vaccines only when the governor of São Paulo, João Doria, had already bought them. And maybe worst of all, he attacked the electronic vote since his victory with no base of fraud in 2018 instilling untrust among his supporters. Well, to accept adverse electoral results is one of main pilars of democray.

The true meaning of this day is to recognize that a year later Brazil remains divided at its roots, not only by the right-wing ideology led by Bolsonaro, but also by much of the left-wing ideology that supports President Lula and many examples given by himself, who sometimes does not appear to be the leader of a large coalition that goes beyond the limits of his Workers' Party (PT) and other small left-wing parties.

As important as to remember and rejects what passed one year ago is to recall the speech of president Lula during his inauguration day. In that January 1th 2023, he recognized that Brazil needs to be pacified and the way to has success was governing with a Front of parties. In some way he did this but no in many others. There are several examples in the domestic politics and also in the foreign relations. President Lula spent a good amount of time criticizing in public the president of the independent Central Bank (BCB) for not reducing the high interest rates as if it was a single decision and not collective with the board and also if the behaviour of the BCB was on purpose against Brazil and himself. He said publicly that Brazil could not achiev the fiscal zero goal, what took great problems to his minister of Finance, Fernando Haddad, on his effort to get this. In the foreign affairs, president Lula tried to mediate a peace negotiation between Russia and Ukraine like if the two countries had the same responsibility for the war. President Lula didn't dismiss till now his minister of Comunications who is accused at the beggining of his term of bad use of public post when he was federal deputy and already as minister. He also treated the dictatorships of Venezuela and Nicaragua if they are democracies with the childish argument that they held many elections and Venezuela more than Brasil. These are just some examples.

What seems to be a good lesson for those who really cares of democracy as the only regime capable of coping peacefully with conflicts of societies and also giving liberties to their citizens is that dialogue, even when much difficult, is better than shouts and violence. Else; an adversary is not an enemy.

Finally, the Parliament needs to rule very soon the role of military personnel in politics. Those in active service must be forbidden to run for elections if not retires from the service and be forbidden to accept invitations to take part in civil posts of government. For one side I have hopes of a better Brazil, and in some way it is already a truth, on the other side I have to admit that the behaviour of many politics and of a large part of society let me fear that 8th January 2023 did not work as a lesson to be learnt.

*RUI TAVARES MALUF is political scientist. Founder of site Processo & Decisão in Brazil that produces studies and researches on braziliam and southamerican poltics, mainly, and also of subnational levels of government. Former Professor at Faculdade de Sociologia e Política de São Paulo - FESP(2006-2022) and other high education institutions. Doctor in political science for University of São Paulo (USP).

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Rui Tavares Maluf

Article posted Monday, November, 21th, 2022


By Rui Tavares Maluf*

At the moment this article is written presidential election in Brazil was finished exactly 22 days, but is not difficult to recognize signals of the continuation of electoral campaign coming from both sides. The radical followers of defeated ruling president Jair Bolsonaro (Liberal Party) are still asking for a ‘coup d’etat’ employing different words and the elected president Luis Inácio Lula da Silva (Worker’s Party) is for more than once saying that fiscal responsibility cannot prevent social priorities. Lula expressed this vision connected to a legislative political option to present at Parliament an amendment to Constitution to allow spends on a bunch of social programs out of a maximum limit that are forbidden nowadays to the federal budget.

My purpose at the present article is to focus mainly on concerns around the side of the elected president Lula da Silva. And there are many concerns. The first one, as I wrote above, is the fiscal issue. Although this legislative option is till now no more than a political negotiation between the team of the elected president and the speakers of the Legislative Power (Deputies chamber and Senate), it seems by Lula’s words that no limits of time and spends shall be fixed in case of passing yet by the outgoing legislature.

The critics of his words from the economic agents and the markets were immediately and came of all sides, including many of who supported him at the second ballot. They pointed out that social focus and attention isn’t against fiscal responsibility, but Lula seems to address his words only to the past what means his radical left supporters, speaking as if he had won the election only with their votes and for a large majority over Bolsonaro and not by only 2,1 millions out of 124,3 millions who attended to the polls stations. Such slim result claims for too much care with the means of action, if not for other reason due to center-right majority that will be present at the next legislature.

Other concern on the present moment concerning the elected president Lula is the size of the transition team; a little less than 300 members collaborating to the future government, although most of them are acting as volunteers. Is difficult to believe that this kind of assembly can be efficient with so few days till Inauguration Day in Jannuary, 1th, 2023. Beyond this, many of these collaborators are old members of Worker’s Party whose actions and policies mostly in economic field (when they were at public charges) were based in populist and failed ideas. But is not much to ask: collaborating to what? Considering formal terms, the members should do a diagnosis of all areas of the present government to aid president Lula and those who will be his ministers to start 2023 in better conditions to face the great challenges than they are now. However what we have seen often are a series of speeches of some celebrities that not show us any safety if they speak with the group support, or with Lula’s, or by themselves. And if they speak in behalf of the group or Lula we must be really worried.

Returning our attention once more to the side of the defeated candidate president Jair Bolsonaro, he still does not accept his defeat and is pressing the board of his political party to question the electoral process, arguing that many polls machines couldn’t be in use because were old. All of this could sounds funny because the ruling president always emphasized he is a Christian, a good father, patriot, protector of the traditional customs and a retired member of the army. Well, the army is ruled by order and hierarchy, exactly the contrary the way Bolsonaro acts. But it is not really funny once the consequences can be dangerous to the country. Such conduct could mean explosive fuel to his radical and many ‘lunatic’ supporters to keep standing in front of military commands and blocking federal roads.

Finally, what is expected from the next president Lula is that he act as a real leader of a great democratic front as he did in his two main speechs, the first one in the night of his electoral victory and the second one at the Conference of Climate Change (COP) in Sharm El Sheik, Egypt last week. And that this front shall be rooted combining tighten care of public spends, allowing certain growth to the economy with social orientation to the more vulnerable people. I ask the reader: Will Lula be able to leader the country properly?

*RUI TAVARES MALUF is political scientist. Founder of site Processo & Decisão in Brazil that produces studies and researches on braziliam and southamerican poltics, mainly, and also of subnational levels of government. Current Professor at Faculdade de Sociologia e Política de São Paulo (FESP). Doctor in political science for University of São Paulo (USP).

KEYWORDS (TAGs): - Defeated president Jair Bolsonaro; Elections 2022 in Brazil; Elected president Lula da Silva; Transition of Power in Brazil; Political words;

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Rui Tavares Maluf

Article posted Wednesday, September, 7h, 2022




By Rui Tavares Maluf *

We can analyze the bicentennial of Independence of Brazil under multiple point of views and mostly critical. However is unquestionable that Brazil is an independent country and became during these two hundred years a nation with important skills, one of them in the care of exploiting the renewable energy sources and other the electronic voting machines. Notwithstanding the right to celebrate good answers we achieved during these years, it is also a good time for us to face the risks.

I think that is not necessary to remind our Brazilian country fellows the great political and social challenges and the shadows crossing all Brazil at the present moment. Great part of world’s international opinion is also aware of things going on here and seems to be worried. Democracy is the real question to be defended and also explained in its fragilities once it is stringed to several other political and non political matters.

But the presently stress on the democratic system has its roots in the past, despite seems clear that one of the principal cause of the nowadays problems is centered on the right extremism wing movement leaded by president Jair Bolsonaro, who runs for reelection next October in adversity till now in opinion polls, with clear menaces to judicial authorities and demonizing the electronic machines votes.

So, the question to be responded is what are the deep roots and how are they associated with the upsurge of Bolsonaro right extremism? One of them, and is not so difficult to envisage, is the huge conflicts in different moments of Brazilian history with a political appeal to solutions by arms. Of course, many of them, as the proclamation of Republic in 1889, were developed with the political involvement of the armed forces. It is essential to recognize that the attraction to solutions of social and political problems by force is spread by almost all political tendencies, what includes civil movements, but specially the extremist ideologies combined with a great dose of pure ignorance.

Such method of making politics was enforced during the Cold War, despite the first moments of Brazilian political environment after the end of World War II was in favor of a democratic system. But the hurts of the last 15 years of Getulio Varga’s government, seven of them under tough dictatorship, poisoned the years ahead ‘aided’ by the international conflict between USA and USSR, or western versus east or yet democracy against communism. Besides, many political actors of the years 20 and 30 were still the same at the beginning of the 60s keeping an authoritarian view of politics and social matters.

The development of a democratic conscience in Brazil was enlarged during the last authoritarian regime, although the understanding of the core of democracy kept dubious for many of those who unfolded democratic flags. It means that some understanding of democracy was rooted in communist discourse or even a fascist one. In other words, democracy was a question of struggle among social class. The concept of people in such view, so dear to Democracy was plainly linked to the poorest or the worker’s class, but not to citizenship. In other words, a core pillar to democracy regime, the pluralism and rotation of power by different political conceptions, were not really accepted, at least not if a rival political party (in ideology) is elected.

And the effective democratic political system is associated to the state of right. It means that some strategic rules must be shared by all political wings, at least the more representative. Besides, the actuality of Brazil political life gave the real chance to place the state of right as a central issue due to the Judicial branch was firmly in defense of core parts of the Constitution. On the other hand, the same Judicial branch shows a series of problems to be faced if Brazilian democrats want to improve the system to avoid political conflicts and to reduce inequalities on social relations.

It does not seem to being faced seriously another issue, the fragmentation of political parties. The measures took recently to cope with this matter are timid. It is very difficult for a government to pass acts in the legislative branch without making obscurantist coalitions that results in benefits to representatives but not to public interests.

There are a lot of defiance in society that requires well designed public policies, like inequality of opportunities for all citizens (specially in education and health), inequality of good jobs and productivity in economy, the spread and force of organized crime, corruption, etc. To overcome such amount of issues, the next federal and states governments must be able to concentrate its initial political capital in some central themes and open dialogue with opposition and all sectors of society whose are confident in the dialogue as a safety path to good solutions. The extremism is not going to disappear even being defeated in next October, but the real victory over such way of seeing Brazil and the world is much beyond passing some laws but also recognizing that some demands are fair.

Finally (to this article but not to the debate), if former president Lula really wins the election, he shall need to open his mind for all these questions that are not being solved just carrying with him a vice-president who was his former political rival.

*RUI TAVARES MALUF is political scientist. Founder of Processo & Decisão, site in Brazil that produces studies and researches on braziliam and southamerican poltics, mainly, and also of subnational levels of government. Current Professor at Faculdade de Sociologia e Política de São Paulo (FESP). Doctor in political science for University of São Paulo (USP).

KEYWORDS (TAGs): - Article of professor Rui Tavares Maluf; Democracy in Brazil; Bicentennial of Independence; Two Hundred years of Brazil independent; professor Rui Maluf of FESPSP

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Rui Tavares Maluf

Article posted Sunday, May 16th, 2022



By Rui Tavares Maluf*

The tough antagonism of brazilian politics started with a popular outcry in June 2013 and increased since march 2014 when a judicial investigation and trials called Operação Lava Jato, throw on the ground the little of credibility of the left wing Worker’s Party (PT) government of eleven years and its main partners in Congress. The antagonism worsened with the impeachment of president Dilma Rousseff (PT), and else with prision of former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (PT), more else with the electoral victory of the radical and populist right wing Jair Bolsonaro (PL) in 2018, a former capitain of Brazilian army who served almost 28 years as a popular representative, achieving its maximum (at while) since Lula, being released from prision and recovering his political rights announced in 2021 he would run for presidency again in 2022.

Very easily Lula obtained the first rank in all institutes of opinion polls, leaving far way the ruling president Jair Bolsonaro, who runs for reelection and who based his government all towards such goal. Mostly, recall could explain his position. Reading the results of the opinion polls was the ‘main fact’ as there were no other candidates to face them and offer an alternative for Brazil in this sad polarization; a ‘Third Way’ as it called. In fact, as Brazilian political parties are generally weak and rarely represent society. So, a lot of precandidates emerged from political obscurantism to try their popularity in public opinion polls to give up some time later when get clear they have no electoral conditions to go anywhere. It is true that in the present context some of these unknown precandidates were reasonable politics. However, many of them were forced to resign their intentions, including the former federal judge of Operação Lava Jato, Sergio Moro, who left his career to be ministry of Justice of Bolsonaro and left the government less than one year and a half later. One of the excuses to induce Moro to resigns his candidacy (besides his own errors) was that he did not reached the expctations once his name did not marked 10 per cent.

Publically, the ‘Third Way’ depends on an agreement among the greatest parties and precandidates as PSDB and MDB, or former governor of São Paulo, João Doria, and senator Simone Tebet. The criteria to decide for a unique candidate was to contract an opinion poll in order to know who of them have real chances to race. However, there are internal lot of objections to the criteria and also for launching any name, because many of these voices are of deputies, senators and candidates for governors of states who see as more feasible to support Lula or Bolsonaro. They fear spend money of electoral funds with such own candidacy and to lack resources for them to be reelected or elected. With the candidacy of João Doria, the main excuse against his keeping in the way is that his name has a high level of public rejection in public opinion polls more of his low intent level (around three per cent). Need to say that Doria won a previous party election against the former governor of Rio Grande do Sul, Eduardo Leite, when 50 thousand members of PSDB voted.

A partial problem is that so far the opinion polls reproduce a vicious environment where Lula and Bolsonaro obtain almost all media attention because they are ahead. It is not an excuse to what was appointed above, but such tool (quantitative researches mostly to the public) is a little poor in what they investigate. The criterias of Intent of Vote and Rejection are important, but no more than the real considerations of why they show such remarks.

If in the remote scenario that supporters of Doria and Tebet agree for one of them in the days coming as was been early agreed, it will not be a surprise if they have a real chance to be an option next October. The chances will not disappear if this occur only at the beginning of August, but they get lower. The alternative for those who do not want no Lula neither Bolsonaro is to bet in the popular political saying that ‘in politics one week is equal to one year’.

*RUI TAVARES MALUF is political scientist. Founder of site Processo & Decisão in Brazil that produces studies and researches on braziliam and southamerican poltics, mainly, and also of subnational levels of government. Current Professor at Faculdade de Sociologia e Política de São Paulo (FESP). Doctor in political science for University of São Paulo (USP).

KEYWORDS (TAGs): - Brazilian national election; Jair Bolsonaro; João Doria; Lula; MDB; Simone Tebet; South America; Brazil; Presidential election of October 2022; PSDB; PT

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Article posted Sunday, April 4th, 2021

Rui Tavares Maluf



By Rui Tavares Maluf*

The government of president Jair Messias Bolsonaro does not deserve any serious consideration of analyses of performance because he really does not rule the country. He, if so much, order, or has the need to show that he orders and the others obeys him without arguing. For who does not know the braziliam politics and history, is important to say that Bolsonaro was an officer of the Army who left the force in 1988 after his involvement with plans of practicing terrorism against those who supported the new democratic government. Although he was declared not guilty at the end of the sue, he did not have conditions to continue in military life. So, he runned to councilor of the City of Rio de Janeiro where he spent two years. As he coped with military issues, focusing on the military police (a force under the state government) he made success and was elected in 1990 to the Chamber of Deputies where he was until 2018 in successive reelections; surprisingly for the political world sinalysing the fadigue of great parcel of electorate with spread of corruption, mainly during the government of the left wing force of Worker's Party. It is important to say that he won with a discourse against corruption and all politics. In other words, flirting with antipolitical practise and really authoritarian.

Since his first day in office, he tried to generate political crises with the National Congress and Supreme Court accusing these institutions and their members of bad pratices and tolerance with corruption. Ironically, he fired off still in 2020 his first Minister of Justice, the former judge Sergio Moro, who is the symbol against such practises. Besides, he tried to show continuosly his command over the Armed Forces, although he is the commander in chief due to the Federal Constitution. And such kind of need passed for triyng to coopt high and medium officers of armed forces bringing them to work at the federal government (in civil posts) with higher wages.And also in public demonstrations of personal loyalty. But his need to act so was due three basic reasons: 1) To menace the the opposition with a perspective of break of the state of right and; 2) keep activate his radical right wing supporters; and 3) his real lack of support in large segments of the armed forces.

All of this is ridiculous because the real problems of Brazil are deepley others. First, as all the world, to struggle with the pandemic of covid-19, what he did not. What was been minimal good in such matter was that the army aided health authorities in remote and poor areas of the country, doing opposite what Bolsonaro advised. The only exception was the production of hydroxicloroquina in the army lab once the president, as a negacionist, recomended daily such use, acting as an antagonist of his two first health ministers (the third one was an army general with no previous knowledge of public health). And even against his now fourth healt minister, a doctor. Is difficult to quantify the looses in such conduct. The second great issue of Brazil is poverty that worsen in last years. And the covid-19 is an 'earthquake' to the poorest inhabitants who live in precarious enrironment. The conditions is not worst because last year National Congress claimed approved some political emergencial aids, and, also to economy, getting the compromise of federal government to increase the ammount to each family and also to informal workers.

And Bolsonaro's rule is dangerous to the country because he increases with purpose a conflit already existing in the society. Such actions obliges all political and judicial institutions to pay attention to him and act in order to avoid the effects of his decisions. One foreigner interested in braziliam market could argue that Bolsonaro's government passed some important laws, as the recent authonomy of the Central Bank. However it is not complete true once the legislative process of the most of themes of the agenda passed only because at the present legislature there are a great number of representatives at both houses (Deputies and Senate) who support economic freedom and reforms plus an political alliance sealed at the beggining of this year with representatives who would be the expression of corruption. Bolsonaro himself worked against his minister of Economy, Paulo Guedes, in a lot of these issues.

More than 70 impeachment requirements against Bolsonaro were submiteed to the Chamber of Deputies, but they are not going ahead probably because the president of this house already denied, and was elected to the presidency in this alliance with Bolsonaro. In 2022, there will be elections and there is an effort of great parte of opposition in the centre of the political spectrum to make an alliance in other to avoid both the reelection of Bolsonaro and neither the come back of Lula da Silva, the greatest leader of the Worker's Party.

Let the reader have a breath...buth wishing Brazil overcome this nightmare.

*RUI TAVARES MALUF is political analyst and consultant. Doctor in political science (University of São Paulo - USP), Master in Political Science (University of Campinas - UNICAMP). Professor at Fundação Escola de Sociologia e Politica de São Paulo (FESPSP). Author of two books: Amadores, Passageiros e Profissionais (2011) and Prefeitos na Mira (2001).

KEYWORDS (TAGs): - South America; Brazil; Federal Government; National Congres; Political crises; President Jair Bolsonaro; Supreme Court; Rui Tavares Maluf; Political Analist;

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On wednesday, July, 16th, the new minister of Education of Brazil during the term of president JAIR Messias BOLSONARO (65), MILTON RIBEIRO (62), took office in a different kind of ceremony. President Bolsonaro was only remote present due is victm of covid-19, he, the man who joked with such kind of ilness calling it a 'litlle flu'. It was really a pathetic scene. At last the president found out the man he wanted to the Ministry of Education; a religious and christian one. Not only to satisfy himself but also the evangelical parliamentarians of Braziliam Congress. But also someone who is taken seriously. The two antecessors were nothing less than a disaster, although the first one was apparentely devoted to religion. The second one was an idelolical militant who took all the time fighting against supposed comunists among federal civil servants and at the public universities. Although he provoked a lot of problems to the domestic and international image of Brazil, Bolsonaro supported him until the Supreme Court started an investigation against behaviour of minister against the braziliam Constitution. Depending on the criteria adopted, Milton Ribeiro was the third, the first or even the fourth minister of Education. For who really is devoted to educational public cause he is the first. Officaly he is the third who took office, but is the fourth who was appointed by Bolsonaro. One was named before Ribeiro and his name was published at the National Official Press but did not take office because the independent press noticed he frauded documents on his curriculum vitae. The new minister of Education had not experience with education public matters, but has a curriculum vitae that is true and was vice rector of University Presbiterian of Mackenzie, a traditional center of São Paulo, who was founded by north american presbiterians in ninenteeth century. His possession speech, at least, was devoted to pointed out that wether he is a pastor he do respect the Constitution and one of its main cores, the laicity of the State. Finally, Mr Ribeiro said more than once he is going to talk with all state secretaries of Education and all parts involved with this theme. However, despite the wish of the minister, president Bolsonaro nomineed days before without asking for Ribeiro's advice more than one name to the National Counsel of Education (CNE) and it has power to rule a large spectrum of politics in the area. And the names nomineed did seem to have any relation with education matters But, despite all adversities, let's hope something positive can be done.

KEYWORDS (TAGs): - CNE; Miltom Ribeiro; New minister of Education of Brazil; National Counsel of Education; president Jair Bolsonaro; president of Brazil;

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It took a long time, but, finally Brazil has an update law of Basic Sanitation Facilities. On July, 15, president JAIR Messias BOLSONARO (65) signed the law 14.026 after National Congress had passed it givint to the National Agency of Waters and Basic Sanitation (ANA) competences in order to edit rules to sanitation facilities. It means that private enterprises will be able to take part in such process. Till now was very difficult to see an private bussiness in the midlle of such business because rules were very hostile to private management. And it is not very difficult to understand once Brazil is a federal country and municipalities and states are the entities those have such right. Most of them have state enterprises to offer such facilities. Few of them, as SABESP a company of the state of São Paulo is well managed. However, its good performance is due, probably, because of capital opening did some years ago.

KEYWORDS (TAGs): - Basic Sanitary Treatment, Law to update general rules, President Jair Bolsonaro, Private business

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Wedensday, december, 26, 2019, the City Council of São Paulo has approved in a second session the legislative project PL-621/16 introducing the Reform of the Retirement Plan of all municipal servants. 50 of 55 councilors voted and 33 of them voted YES and 17 voted NAY. From now on the municipal servants will pay a percentage of 14 of their waves while public bosses will suffer an increase of six points of percentagem (from 22 percentage to 28. Such legislative project were introduced by the City Hall in december, 2016, at the last year of the mayor of São Paulo Fernando Haddad (PT) term. It took a long time to be approved due to a great rejection among the municipal servants. The present mayor of São Paulo, BRUNO COVAS Lopes (38) (PSDB) signed the law number 17.020/18 the next day.

KEYWORDS: - Bruno Covas Lopes, City Council of São Paulo, City of São Paulo, Councilors, Mayor of São Paulo, Reform of the Retirement Plan

Posted Julyl, 12, 2017


This afternoon, Wednesday, 12 of July, the federal judge Sergio Moro (46) condemned former president of Brazil, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (71), to nine years of jail for corruption, although he can stay free during the appeal to a Federal Instance. Judge Moro understood that former president accepted a flat at Guarujá beach, in the Coast of the state of São Paulo for benefits conceded to OAS, an enterprise of civil engineer that had many contracts with federal government. At the same time, Mr. Moro absolved Lula of being guilty for the acquisition of the ‘Instituto Cidadania’, Lula Institution to care of his presidential legacy and also of his militancy in social movements. It is the first time during a democratic regime in Brazil that a former president is condemned. Finally, judge Moro condemned Lula to pay a large amount of money.

KEYWORDS (TAGs): Corruption, Federal Judge Sergio Moro, Jail, Justice, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Lula, former president; president of Brazil, Sentence, Sergio Moro

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Posted April, 1, 2016


Rui Tavares Maluf

By Rui Tavares Maluf*

At this present moment, when I start writing this article, I am very aware that the course of 2016 Brazilian political life shall continue very difficult even in case of president Dilma Vana Rousseff (68) impeachment (this probability increased a lot since Tuesday, March 29th, when PMDB, the second more powerful party of this alliance, decided to not participate any more of the government of Miss Rousseff).

I myself understand that the president do deserve the impeachment for many more reasons than those within the legislative trial, although I am not focusing on this subject here. But my personal view on her faults doesn’t blind me. If the vice-president Michel Temer becomes president political polarization should be yet more intense; at least during some months. First of all, Temer was elected vice-president in 2014 in the same political coalition of Rousseff. Both of them suffer an investigation at Electoral Superior Court (TSE) for receiving illegal resources from contracts of the giant state petrol company, Petrobras. Members of his party, PMDB, are under Public Attorney investigation, as Eduardo Cunha, president of Chamber of Deputies, and Renan Calheiros, president of Senate. Besides, Rousseff’s supporters keeps trying to disqualify the impeachment process crying out that this is a plot. They also tried to politicize the judicial process and are spreading slogans around the world in such direction, as shown when a civil servant used the administrative structure of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to deliver a release. The own president used such words when calling the international community via ambassadors and press accredited in Brasilia. She intensified such discourse in many occasions afterwards, like a speech made in March, 30ths, during a public ceremony and the environment observed in March, 31ths, public rally in favor of his mandate. The slogan shouted repeatedly is ‘Não vai ter golpe’ (‘There will not have plot’). It is very clear that the president tries to align the end of March with the military plot of 1964 (52 years ago), ending the government of president João Goulart. In other words, two typical cases interrelated (one of fiscal misconduct and another one of corruption) are being treated as if they were a political affair where one side, opposition of “right wing”, was trying to dispatch the government with a coupe d’etat.

The way for success of an eventual Temer’s government is due only to some portion of him. What depends on strictly to his action? Certainly, considering the need to shorten political vulnerability, is very important he points out very clear political and economic measures that are recommended by the most credible economic and political analysts and political agents. At the same time he needs to show his political competence to construct an arch of political forces at National Congress and also in economic and social institutions that isolates PT and his small partner at the left wing PC do B. Members of opposition said that to collaborate with Temer’s presidency reclaims his absence of racing for reelection in 2018. The social cry against Dilma Rousseff’s government showed to be extensive to almost all political system as a giant rally Avenida Paulista showed during the crowded protests last March, 13, when the governor of São Paulo, Geraldo Alckmin, and last main presidential opposition candidate, Aecio Neves (both of PSDB) were vowed by many protesters at the time they tried to demonstrate their support for the cause. In other words, how social movements as MBL (Free Branzilian Movement) and Vem pra Rua (Come to Street) will react? Considering that some of them shall keep protesting, how much of leadership will they have over the majority of society? Another question: how the international community will react? Is it evaluating the Brazilian scene with good information and understanding?

The political economic agenda by itself is the most important thing to a successful government when economic activity is very bad (recession, high inflation, losing rank by risks investments agencies of and so on), since it is not pressed by an external factor commanded by judicial process that can damage a broad portion of political system. And it seems difficult that this will not disturb an eventual Temer’s government.

Call for a general election should be the correct attitude. However what institution should call under legal terms? The only constitutional way for accomplishing this is in definitive absence of president and vice-president (Article 81) before the terms reach two years. After this half term, only by the National Congress. In both solutions, the new president must complete the term of four years of the impeached president. Maybe, an Ammendment to the present Constitution could afford such initiative. However, an approval for any Constitution change needs the vote in favor for three fifths of all members being voted twice by each of the two houses (Chamber of Deputies and Senate).

But could things get better in a less probable scenario of veto of impeachment by Congress? No in absolute, because president Dilma Rousseff lost almost all legitimacy, show no competence, and even being now strictly aided by former president Luis Inacio Lula da Silva, his political godfather (and undoubtedly a leader), he is under a very tough judicial investigation. And worse than all: PT doesn’t want Dilma Rousseff impeachment, but neither support her few correct purposes, like a reform in pensions national system. Correct purpose, but contrary to her first political term. Even Lula is supported for not what he had done when president in his two terms.

Finally, although painful and no assuring by itself any solution, the impeachment is the correct way.

*RUI TAVARES MALUF is political analyst and consultant. Doctor in political science (USP), Master in Political Science (UNICAMP). Professor at Fundação Escola de Sociologia e Politica de São Paulo (FESPSP). Author of two books: Amadores, Passageiros e Profissionais (2011) and Prefeitos na Mira (2001).

TAGs:Dilma Vana Rousseff, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, PMDB, President, PT

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Published May, 12, 2014

President Rousseff reelection campaign

Did something really change?

By Rui Tavares Maluf*

The unique possible answer to the question above is yes. I explain what happened to President Dilma Rousseff’s chance of holding Presidency safely. Since the article I published here last January, some trends of economic and political environment in Brazil are now well rooted. Economy is clearly worse as easily seen by the increasing of inflation rate, high interest rates (to combat inflation), fiscal weakness, denounces of misconducting of Executives in Petrobras (the state giant company of oil and gas), high spends to organize the Football World Cup starting next June (with lots of things to do till less than 40 days to start competition, among other issues. In other words, mainly the middle class is being aware of day by day growing of prices. But it is true that infra-structure and facilities problems under states and municipalities authorities of the great entities are being mixed with federals spheres as they were only of one ruler responsibility.

In politics, the two main opposition candidates Aecio Neves (PSDB) and Eduardo Campos (PSB) are on the road and the recent Opinion Polls from more than one Institute showed that the electorate is discovering them. Besides, electors generally point out needs of changes in Brazilian government with an increasing slide of them understanding that it must be done with new rulers.

If this problem reported was not enough, there are many politicians of Partido dos Trabalhadores (Worker’s Party) of the president Dilma Rousseff and former president Luis Inácio Lula da Silva (and also from the coalition parties) that openly call for a return of the second, arguing that only with him the party is able to defeat the opposition candidates. And such shouting arisen not only for eventual bad performance in Opinion Polls, but, certainly, because she is seen as someone who does not listen to what politicians has to say. In other words, she does not dialogue preferring to be indoors with her few confident advisers. The relationship of her government with National Congress is not good, although there was not caused by opposition parties, a minority force during almost all of her term.

During last days former president Lula denied to the press more than once that he will not replace her at the head of presidential formula, while president Rousseff said that she is ‘loyal’ to Lula as he is for her. More than this, for the first time she officially assumed she is candidate to reelection as a movement to avoid doubt of her decision to run. But, the need of realizing such acts shows by itself how bad things go.

Well, for now, president Dilma Rousseff need to recover some points in the presidential race Opinion Polls in order to put aside this movement against her right to run for reelections, coming from her official supporters. However, it will not be an easy task because at this moment it is not up to some eventual good political marketing strategies. What would change such scenario? Could be a victory of the Brazilian national team next July? Similar denounces against the parties of her main rivals? And most important of all, would things improve when the electors start to pay attention to the candidates’ proposals and comparing them? Maybe it could reverse situation, but it does not seem so easy of occurring.

In the opposition field, the two main candidates are smoothly struggling for whom of them (Neves or Campos) shall be seen as the most clearly opposition to Worker’s Party Era at the same time transmitting signals of not changing social improvements. Neves (PSDB) is starting ahead although is early to any forecast once Campos is still more unknown than Neves among electorate. Neves is eventually the preferred by important economic stakeholders. But even so, Neves and Campos have also a lot of work to do next weeks in order to assure that the growth of them is real.

Finally, is possible to repeat what we had already written last January about the presidential race. The next Brazilian president will be known only in the second ballot and will give us strong emotions.

*RUI TAVARES MALUF is partner of Processo & Decisão Consultoria, professor at Fundação Escola de Sociologia e Política de São Paulo (FESPSP), coordinating the course of Public Opinion and Marketing Inteligence (OPIM), political analist (doctor in political Science, USP, 2006, and máster in Political Science, UNICAMP, 1993).

TAGs: Brazilian Presidential Race, 2014, President Dilma Rousseff, Presidente of Brazil, Candidates of Opposition, Aécio Neves (PSDB), Eduardo Campos (PSB), PSDB, PSB, PT, Workers Party, Partido dos Trabalhadores, Former President Lula, Economy, Rui Tavares Maluf, Political Analyst.

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Will President Dilma Rousseff be reelected?

By Rui Tavares Maluf*

Unfortunately I do not have ‘The Lamp’ to see the future of almost 10 months ahead and to respond the above question. But I think we analysts of Brazilian politics have some conditions to appoint the most probable trends of this race. First one, the next presidential and legislative national elections (that occurs at the same day, and at the same day with state elections to governors and state legislators in a Sunday of October according to Federal Constitution) shall be the hardest one of the Partido dos Trabalhadores Era (Worker’s Party - PT and surely there will be a second ballot for several) reasons, although president Dilma continues favorite to win the dispute.

Despite her favorite condition I point out some of the problems she and the party will face: 1) the economic conditions of Brazil are not really good; 2) Important Stakeholders not only among the economic analysts and the market noted it, but also in other social areas (expectations can eventually spread for all social groups); 3) political economy of Rousseff’s government doesn’t favor a real economic growth despite of recent ‘privatizations’ of airports and roadways and Brazil as an investment to foreign capitals is not as attractive as used to be some years ago; 4) inflation is getting higher and provoking an impact on the middle class expenses; 5) foreign politics of her government (not much different of Lula’s two terms) is moved much more by ideological view betting on populist rule nations and also authoritarian ones to challenge USA; 6) the Central Bank continues to increase the basic interest rate to combat inflation, making a radical contrary movement of the government discourse of the years 2011 e 2012, with unseen effects over inflation rate; 7) president Dilma Rousseff has not a leadership in Partido dos Trabalhadores as the former president Lula; 8) neither has she political skills to cope with allies parties like PMDB.

If the described factors were not enough to disturb PT once macro politics and macro economy is hardly an appeal to voters, there is the break of the last elections alliance. The Socialist Party (PSB), one of the most important members, put an end because his main leader, Eduardo Campos, governor of the northeastern state of Pernambuco, decided to run for Presidency. Although Campos is still unknown of the most Brazilians citizen, he is seconded by Marina Silva, of Rede, a new political party that did not get to be in legal conditions to run the present elections. Marina herself disputed Presidency in 2010 and got almost 20 million votes. She was a former member of PT and left the party because the disagreement with former president Lula. She had been minister of Environment of his government but did not accept his supposedly political preference for agribusiness. Last October, Ms. Silva surprised the political scene announcing her support to Campos after the refusal of Rede by the ministers of the electoral authority (Tribunal Superior Eleitoral, TSE) in last October. Probably she will be Campos’s colleague running for Vice-presidency. Campos-Marina candidacy will probably attract a kind of elector that voted PT many times, that do prefer a party emphasizing social flags first of economic ones, but doesn’t intend to vote real opposition due to ideological differences. And eventually, Campos-Marina should be interesting for a little group of former PSDB electors who have differences with Aécio Neves. The other and most important allied (at least in number of seats at the Congress), PMDB, the party of the vice-president Michel Temer, is not content with PT and neither with the president Dilma Rousseff. Many regional sections have their own plans to state governor disputes and such races have important links with the federal one. And seems clear that PMDB engagement in 2014 reelection campaign of MS Rousseff will stand far way comparing with 2010.

I will not forget considering the chances of PSDB (Social Democratic Brazilian Party) the most important one of the opposition field. Its main problem till one month ago was the persistence of the former governor of São Paulo, José Serra, and also former candidate for presidency (2002 and 2010) to give up running once more for Presidency and announce his support for senator of Minas Gerais, Aécio Neves. Serra long reluctance was interpreted by many as a signal that he would try a third time although the new executive direction of PSDB is controlled by Mr. Neves supporters. Finally, Mr. Serra wrote in his twitter that the Party must work soon and hardly for Aecio Neves name. PSDB strategy will be show that its candidate is the real opposition to the actual government. PSDB had a different conception of the political economy, the one that understand that private sector is really important to economic and social development, fiscal adjust is essential for a manageable budget as to keep inflation at a very low rate. And all of this is seen as compatible and a good cause to assure better conditions for the most social fragile sectors. Besides, favoring eventually Ms. Dilma Rousseff, the race for governor of São Paulo, will be hard to PSDB, the party controlling the state since 1995. Governor Geraldo Alckmin is considered favorite, but at this time the process will be different of last times. Alexandre Padilha, minister of Health till some days ago (who ‘invented’ the Public Program ‘Mais Médicos’) with no political popular disputes backgrounds seems to be the kind of profile who can be fit a slice of PSDB electorate.

Finally I could say that Brazilian national election of this year tend to be as enjoyable as the World Coup that will be held hear from June 12 to July 13. Reader can understand the meaning of this sentence considering the importance of soccer (football) to Brazil.

*RUI TAVARES MALUF is partner of Processo & Decisão Consultoria, professor at Fundação Escola de Sociologia e Política de São Paulo (FESPSP), coordinating the course of Public Opinion and Marketing Inteligence (OPIM), political analist (doctor in political Science, USP, 2006, and máster in Political Science, UNICAMP, 1993).

TAGs:Aécio Neves; Alexandre Padilha; Brazil; Geraldo Aclkmin; José Serra; Marina Silva; National Elections of October 2014; Run for Presidency; President Dilma Rousseff; Former President Lula, Former Governor of São Paulo; Senator of the state of Minas Gerais; Rede; State of São Paulo; Rui Tavares Maluf; Political Analyst; PSB; PSDB; PT.

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