Sandro Ferreira Barbosa is 27 years old, a promising talent that works as Legislative Consultant at the City Council of Rio de Janeiro. He possesses an extensive knowledge regarding what happens in the Judiciary, Legislative and Executive powers in Brazil. He is also capable to talk about the process of the former president Dilma Rousseff impeachment and give his opinions about the political future of the country.

A great discussion took place in Brazil regarding the legitimacy of the impeachment. According to Mr. Sandro the impeachment process is considered essentially a crime related to irregular operations of the 2015’s budget execution. Although these acts of government are reprehensible in a way, in his opinion they do not justify the impeachment. It is a disproportion to initiate this process and to condemn the President Dilma for acts of budget management by means of a very rushed process managed by a former president of the Lower House of the Parliament Eduardo Cunha who is being prosecuted by the Supreme Court. In this circumstance the impeachment process operates, in my opinion, as a way to remove the president Dilma though a distortion of a legitimate constitutional institute. Mr. Sandro understands that the Judiciary Power had an important role in that crisis because the investigation of irregularities of the Public Federal Administration must continue to be impartially investigated in order to reach all involved people.

It is clear that Dilma made many mistakes which allowed the impeachment process beginning. It’s understandable that Brazilian people rejected Dilma Rouseff’s government according to researches and public manifestations. She did not take advantage of her great popularity to adopt the necessary measures for the country, including political reform. Furthermore, she made questionable interventions regarding several sectors of the economy which have been proven harmful to the country (tax exemptions, for example). She did not take advantage of the moment to establish partnerships with the private sector. She also held budgetary and financial operations against the principles of good management. There was mismanagement of public companies: Eletrobras, Petrobras and so on. Regarding to corruption, she was not firm enough in addressing those problems, often omitting them and participating at least indirectly on them. So I understand that all those errors, in addition to a troubled post-election scenario and an economic crisis, created the conditions for the impeachment process.

Mr. Sandro also commented on a very important character in that process, that’s to say, the removed President of Deputies Chamber Eduardo Cunha. There has to be very proven reasons indicating that Eduardo Cunha’s presence affects the normal operation of the control institutions. “I really understand that Eduardo Cunha repeatedly used his power of Lower House president to stop the progress of investigations such as Board of Ethics and Inquiry Parliament Board’’ said Mr. Sandro. Eduardo Cunha has also intimidated some witnesses. So Mr. Sandro said he supports the unanimous decision of the Federal Supreme Court of Justice. On the other hand the president Dilma Roussef is moved away of her position by 180 days and Mr. Sandro does not think she will return to her position because the Senate has already demonstrated to have the majority of 2/3 of votes to impeach her. Besides, during the period of 180 days, despite the difficulties, the new government will be able to present positive results for the economy growth and to approve the necessary reforms for the country.

What to expect Michel about Michel Temer government? As Mr. Sandro said: “Michel Temer will be able to adopt important measures for the economy because he has the support of the majority members of the Legislative Power. In addition to that I think (the news of recent days have indicated that) there will be a turn to the right conservative political parties in various fields such as foreign policy, labor policy, health, human rights, security etc. Regarding the fight against corruption, there is no doubt that this is a secondary issue for the government and will be emptied, not only because the ruling staff off PMDB (one of the greatest political parties) is involved in various events of corruption, as well as public opinion and the media will not give focus on such matters as in recent months.’’

Mr. Sandro also talked about the situation of the foreign politics in Brazil. He mentioned that the new government nominated the Minister of the External Relations, José Serra. According to Mr. Sandro a pertinent question for the future of the country is: ‘’Which direction can we expect from Brazilian Foreign Policy?’’ Mr. Sandro answered: ”I think the first steps of the José Serra Chancellor demonstrate a right turn in foreign policy. While saying that now the Itamaraty (The Foreign Relation Ministry) will suit the interests of the state and nation, never the interests of a party, it seems to me that there is a guidance to obtain other world leaders’ support about the impeachment process. The fact is that the definition of public policy in any area involves somehow ideological bias to the left or to the right.’’

I would like to thank Mr. Sandro Barbosa for sharing his knowledge regarding the very complex impeachment process of Dilma Roussef. Now I feel well prepared to talk about this important subject.

By: Vitor Almeida Prado Paré


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