A request to impeach President Jair Bolsonaro was submitted Wednesday into Brazil's House of Deputies by opposition political parties, social movements and organizations.
The new initiative was dubbed “the super request” because it intends to bring together and unify the arguments already outlined in the more than 120 similar filings against the President, who is accused of 23 crimes.
The new document consists of 271 pages and has been endorsed by politicians from the Workers' Party (PT) as well as by Socialists and Communists as well as by the Central of Popular Movements (CMP), the Popular Brazil Front, the Brazilian Association of Jurists for Democracy and the Black Coalition for Rights.
Even former Bolsonaro allies such as conservative legislators Alexandre Frota, from the Brazilian Social Democracy Party, and Joice Hasselmann, from the Social Liberal Party, have signed the petition.
According to opposition leader Alessandro Molon this will be the largest request for impeachment presented in pandemic times. It is the most comprehensive, both due to the enumeration of the crimes committed by the President of the Republic -from the oldest to the most recent- as well as the number of signatories, of the most diverse political positions, Molon said.
Some of the charges against Bolsonaro include encouraging the military to not comply with the law, the incitement to a coup, with positions favourable to the closure of the Supreme Court and the National Congress, and the apology of torture, together with fueling public outrage against social isolation, the lack of a plan to fight the SARS-CoV-2 virus and also lying for political gain.
Also among the arguments is Bolsonaro's alleged corruption in the purchase contract for Covaxin, the Indian vaccine against Covid-19.
The national coordinator of the CMP, Raimundo Bonfim, stressed that it is a request from the street. That is why he presented himself precisely to the heat and clamour for the preservation of life, with the support of the large mobilizations of May 29 and June 19. “We cannot wait for people to die of Covid-19 or starve. Bolsonaro has to go now,” he said.
Law scholar Mauro Menezes said the super request goes beyond the question of impeachment and warned: It is clear that we are facing fascism, a considerable political force.
It is now up to House of Deputies Speaker Arthur Lira to set off the proceedings. But Lira is a hardline Bolsonarist who has been fencing off one impeachment request after another.
We want a country with decency and that faces the pandemic, said Hasselman, of the Social Liberal Party, the same one for which Bolsonaro came to power in 2018.
Congresswoman Kim Kataguiri, also a former ally of Bolsonaro's, famous for being an ultra-liberal or 'libertarian' who led demonstrations against Dilma Rousseff in 2015 and 2016, defended the union to remove one of the greatest evils in the history of Brazil for its criminal negligence that caused more than 500,000 deaths when denying the pandemic.
Gleisi Hoffmann, chairwoman of the opposition Workers' Party (PT) of former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the favourite in the polls to defeat Bolsonaro in the next presidential elections, said: This government is festering and gnawing at hatred and lies. We must give Brazil back to the Brazilian people.
The super request sums up the 123 claims of impeachment since the president took office and includes crimes such as health genocide, homophobia, racism and the last two corruption scandals.
The PT and all the left-wing parties, centre-left and some right-wing leaders signed, such as the former porn star and former bolsonarista Alexandre Frota, from the Brazilian Social Democracy Party, who supports the presidential candidacy of the governor of São Paulo, Joao Doria.
This week, Lira had said that there is no climate to receive a request for impeachment.
The claim will be supported by an opposition mobilization, the third in just over 35 days, called for next Saturday across the country.
If the impeachment request is accepted, Congress needs two-thirds of the votes to remove a president from office. Since the return to democratic rule, two presidents have been dismissed: Fernando Collor de Mello, in 1991, and Dilma Rousseff, in 2016.