Correspondent in Sao Paulo
The Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro showed his strength in the streets by mobilizing a good part of his followers in demonstrations for the Brazilian independence day, but he may have weakened his political and institutional game by attacking the Supreme Court again and saying that he will not carry out any more orders or decisions of his judges. Brazilian politicians, magistrates and leaders reacted on Wednesday with criticism and actions that may pave the way for his dismissal.
The leader of the opposition in the Senate, Senator Randolfe Rodrigues, will present a criminal notification before the highest Brazilian judicial instance, to request the investigation of Bolsonaro for that threat, for ignoring the decisions of the Supreme Court and demanding the deposition of the magistrate of that court, Alexandre de Moraes. Bolsonaro’s main target on Tuesday, Moraes investigates cases of fake news and crimes on the internet, involving Bolsonaristas, the president and their children.
Rodrigues asks that two issues be investigated: the “attack against the constitutional order, the democratic rule of law and the separation of powers”, and the possible financing of the acts of September 7, with “improper use of the public machine, money public, and helicopters, in favor of these acts.
The president’s attacks also provoked a reaction among the leaders of some parties, who still supported him, and are now proposing to discuss his removal. The Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB), convened for the first time his leadership to debate the issue, and his presidential candidates, the governors of São Paulo, João Doria, and of Rio Grande do Sul, Eduardo Leite, demonstrated on Tuesday in favor of the dismissal .
“My position is for the ‘impeachment’ of President Jair Bolsonaro, after what I heard today, clearly challenging the Constitution,” said Doria, making it clear that it was the first time that he spoke out on an issue in which he had remained neutral. In 2018, Doria supported Bolsonaro’s candidacy to get part of his votes from the interior of São Paulo, which helped him to be elected as governor.
“We have evaluations from some important jurists who point out that only the speeches, the demonstrations, would be sufficient reasons to justify the (impeachment) process,” declared the exalkade of São Paulo, Gilberto Kassab, presiding over the Social Democratic Party (PSD), part of Bolsonaro’s base in Congress.
Leaders of other parties also stated that they should pressure the President of the Chamber of Deputies, Arthur Lima, an ally of Bolsonaro, who keeps some 124 requests for impeachment in a drawer. In a column, the newspaper O Estado de São Paulo, hinted that Lira could be interested in the removal of the presidential roster, since he would be the third in line of succession, in the event that the vice president, General Hamilton Mourão, is also deposed.
The main Brazilian media also harshly criticized the way in which the president fanned the massive marches, which in the city of São Paulo, exceeded 100,000 people. «For him, (Bolsonaro) September 7 was never D-day, but one more step in a project to demolish the institutions to try to stay in power in any electoral and criminal scenario, “said one of the Globo network editorials, journalist Renata Loprete.
Bolsonaro still has the unconditional support of 19% of the electorate, equivalent to some 29 million Brazilians, despite the fact that his popularity continues to decline with the worsening of the economic crisis and cases of corruption that tarnish his government. At the end of the demonstrations on Tuesday, cacerolazos against Bolsonaro were heard almost throughout the country.