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Opposition also stage demonstrations against Bolsonaro in Brazil: law scholars say President should be impeached

Wednesday, September 8th 2021 - 09:11 UTC
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The “Fora Bolsonaro” campaign is also gaining momentum The “Fora Bolsonaro” campaign is also gaining momentum

Brazilian opposition supporters convened Tuesday to stage their rallies across at least some 160 cities nationwide and express their dislike for President's Jair Bolsonaro's Independence Day celebrations in Brasilia and Sao Paulo.

Politicians from the opposition and various news outlets had warned the head of state could be holding a coup d'etat Tuesday as he is under court investigations which could make him ineligible for a new term in office next year.

The demonstrators pressed for Bolsonaro's dismissal from office, be it by resignation or impeachment.

Under the motto Life first,“ the so-called Movement of the Excluded has joined the ”Fora Bolsonaro“ campaign, which in addition to domestic demonstrations in at least 160 cities in the South American country, held some others abroad.

The protests against the president are called by the National Campaign ”Fora Bolsonaro“, made up of the Povo Sem Fedo and Brasil Popular fronts, as well as political parties, union central and popular movements.

The demonstrations, which took place under strict health protocols which included protective masks, alcohol and social distance, and are a follow up of a struggle that started in May this year.

Meanwhile, Brazilian law scholars have agreed that Bolsonaro's speech about not complying with STF minister decisions was challenging to the Constitution and made the President liable for a crime of responsibility
Gustavo Binenbojm, a Law Professor with a PhD at the State University of Rio de Janeiro said “the president's speech clearly seems to me to be a speech that threatens independence and harmony between the” branches of government.

Binenbojm added that Bolsonaro's announcement that “he would no longer comply with any decision made by Minister Alexandre de Moraes, that he no longer exists for the president of the Republic,” who also “threatens to fail to comply with judicial decisions” constitutes an “a crime of responsibility by the President of the Republic,” which makes the head of state liable for impeachment as outlined in article 85 of the Constitution: ”The acts of the President that violate the Constitution and, especially, against the free exercise of the Legislative Power, the Judiciary, the Public Ministry and the Constitutional Powers of the units of the Federation; compliance with laws and court decisions.“

Former STF Justice Celso de Mello also understands Bolsonaro attacked the independence of the judiciary with threats. ”This behaviour by Bolsonaro reveals the shadowy figure of a ruler who is not ashamed of disrespecting and vilifying the essential meaning of the institutions of the Republic. It is necessary, for this very reason, to reject the autocratic essays and the gestures and impulses of subversion of institutionality practised by those who wield power,“ he said.

In his speech Tuesday in Sao Paulo, Bolsonaro stated he would no longer comply with De Moraes' decisions, as he spoke ill of the magistrate, of other members of the STF and of governors and mayors who took measures against the coronavirus pandemic.

”To tell you that any decision made by Mr Alexandre de Moraes, this president will no longer fulfil. The patience of our people has already run out, he still has time to ask for his cap and go about his own life. He, for us, does not exist anymore.”

De Moraes is slated to preside over the Superior Electoral Court (TSE) next year when Bolsonaro plans to seek reelection against former President Luiz Inácio Lula Da Silva.

“Our people's patience has run out. We believe in and we want democracy. The soul of democracy is the vote. We cannot accept an electoral system that does not provide any security. We want clean, democratic elections, with an auditable vote and public counting of the voters. We cannot have elections where there are doubts about the voters. I cannot participate in a farce like this sponsored by the president of the Superior Electoral Court. We will no longer admit that people like Alexandre de Moraes continue to lash out at our democracy and disregard our Constitution. He had every opportunity to act concerning all of us, but he didn't act in that way as he continues not to act,” Bolsonaro said.

“We cannot admit an electoral system that does not offer any security; at the time of elections. ... It is not a person on the Superior Electoral Court who will tell us that this process is safe and reliable,” he added.

Bolsonaro also attacked governors and mayors who called for social isolation as a measure to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. “You went through difficult times with the pandemic, but worse than the virus were the actions of some governors and some mayors who simply ignored our Constitution and hindered freedom of expression, hindered the right to come and go, prohibited you from working and to attend temples and churches for your prayers,” he said.

Earlier this week, Bolsonaro had filed a request for De Moraes' impeachment before the Senate, arguing that he and fellow Judge Luis Roberto Barroso had gone beyond the limits of the Constitution.

Categories: Politics, Brazil.

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