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Wed 10
PT’s threat to democracy is real

PT’s threat to democracy is real

Haddad’s government plan envisages the resumption of all strategies ever attempted by the party, aiming to submit republican institutions to PT’s will

On Monday, the Workers’ Party (PT) presidential candidate, Fernando Haddad, said he wished to form an alliance with several of the candidates who were defeated in the first round, such as Ciro Gomes (PDT), Marina Silva (Rede), Geraldo Alckmin (PSDB) and even Henrique Meirelles (MDB). “We have every interest to unite all progressive democratic forces,” he said. The choice of words is intentional, seeking to place his opponent, Jair Bolsonaro (PSL) in the antidemocratic field, while Haddad and the other adversaries are the democratic ones. But a more careful reading of PT’s government plan in the Electoral Superior Court shows there’s nothing democratic about the party’s intentions.

While in government, PT has tried to submit all other republican institutions to the party, by a variety of means. There was pure and simple corruption, like in the Mensalão and Petrolão scandals, where members of parliament were “bought” to ensure their support to government bills and, afterward Petrobras was sacked to maintain the party’s project to stay in power. Democracy suffered then a harsh blow, and for that matter it is wise to remember the words of Federal Supreme Court justices during one of the sessions in the Mensalão trial. Celso de Mello said that there had been a “criminal use of the state apparatus and the illicit use of the government apparatus” for that which Ayres Britto defined as a “project to stay in power (…). Not in government, because a project to stay in government is licit, but a project to remain in power goes beyond a quadrupled quadriennium, and administrative continuity. It is governmental continuism. A coup, therefore, in this content of democracy which is republicanism.”

But there have been more subtle ways of tying up democratic institutions and freedoms. That was the case of a campaign for the creation of a Federal Journalism Council, an attempt to curb free press. The most blatant attempts, however, came with the 2009 National Human Rights Plan, which also had in its text threats against the freedom of press and even envisaged the replacement of the Courts for “mediation instruments” in rural conflicts, and the notorious Bill 8,243 by Dilma Rousseff, whose National Social Participation Policy was merely an elegant name to constrain state organs, such as ministries, to bow to “popular councils” in which the people’s participation would be restricted to a minimum, since such entities were merely instruments for PT. In both cases, the reaction from the society and the institutions was strong enough to make Lula back down, in the case of PNDH3, and to topple, in Congress, Bill 8,243.

Judging by Haddad’s government plan, PT wants nothing short of resuming all frustrated plans in its 15 years in the Planalto Palace, as if its eventual victory gave it carte blanche to threaten once again Brazil’s democracy. Chapters 1.2 to 1.4 of its government plan are a letter of intent whose aim is to submit the republican institutions to the party though a “social control” of each of the three branches of government, as well as the Prosecution Office. There is also criticism to the organs which supervise and control (which, according to PT, are allegedly “overstepping their boundaries”), to leniency agreements and the institution of state’s evidence. The message is clear: we have to impose limits on all these institutions and legal mechanisms being used to punish PT’s corrupt politicians. Wherever there is a prosecutor accusing or a judge sentencing a PT big shot, “social control” will be there to put the public agent in his or her place and show who’s the boss.

To reach that goal, PT relies on the implementation, as soon as possible, of a National Constituent Assembly, as described in chapter 1.4, since the current constitutional mark treats each branch of government as independent, rather than submitted to a “social control” or councils made up of activists. And, in order to shut down voices which denounce the implementation of a system which resembles the Bolivarian one, the government program also stipulates the infamous “media regulation”, in its chapter 1.3, with a “regulating organ made up of a plural composition and which will supervise society” and “a new regulatory mark for electronic social communication.”

And if by chance all these attempts to perpetuate PT in power fail, there is a more ancient and mundane resource. Nowhere in the government plan, nor in Haddad’s statements, is there any acknowledgment or apology for the unbridled corruption practiced during Lula’s and Dilma’s government. What allegedly happened, in Lula’s case, according to the fantasy-filled government plan, was a “political arrest, with no crimes and no evidence,” a true persecution from the Courts – an unreal definition for the conviction from a first instance judge and three appellate judges, and in which three Superior Court of Justice justices and six Federal Superior Court justices did not see any evidence of irregularity or arbitrariness that justified the granting of a habeas corpus. Well, if the party sees nothing wrong with the practices adopted throughout these 14 years, nor in such confrontations with the investigating organs and the Judiciary branch, is it too far-fetched to imagine such practices may return?

When speaking about his intention of forming alliances with other candidates, Haddad said he will be open to “adjusting parameters of his program” to accommodate demands. But without ever renouncing completely the ambition to reduce powers and institutions to his party’s extensions, without ever waiving controlling the press nor attacking the legislation which combats corruption, without ever admitting Lula is nothing more than the boss of a criminal organization, without ever relinquishing the unstoppable confrontation against democratic institutions, without ever renouncing his support to the Venezuelan, Cuban and Nicaraguan dictatorships. Haddad is not worthy of the support of those candidates who are truly democratic, nor the vote of Brazilians who are committed to the maintenance of democracy in the country.

 

READ IT IN PORTUGUESE:

A ameaça do PT à democracia é real

Plano de governo de Haddad prevê a retomada de todas as estratégias já tentadas pelo partido, com o objetivo de submeter as instituições republicadas à vontade do PT