Brazil’s Left Is Proposing an Economy Based on Workers

    Brazilian farm workers - Sebastião Salgado

    cial and political movements in Brazil are organizing a “popular emergency plan” meant to strengthen a society rooted in “democracy and well-being,” in case an interim government should replace the Michel Temer administration as a consequence of the scandals he is facing.

    Brazil’s Popular Front, which gathers social movements, political parties and trade unions, outlined ten proposals in São Paulo, on Monday, for a model of a sovereign and independent economy based on the workers.

    The document also suggests that the national congress should convoke a constituent assembly in order to change the electoral law ahead of the 2018 general elections.

    The idea would be for instance to impose a certain proportion of Black or women lawmakers, reflecting the proportion of each minority in each electoral district, so lawmakers would represent Brazilian society better, said João Pedro Stédile, one of the national coordinators of the Landless Workers Movement.

    Currently, 80 percent of lawmakers are businessmen, and the 20 percent left were supported by lawmakers so they could be elected, added Stédile according to Agência Brasil.

    The emergency plan was introduced amid a scandal involving Temer and his controversial relationship with businessman Joesley Batista, which could put an end to his senate-imposed rule.

    In a wiretap discussion with Temer, Batista, president of the world’s largest meatpacking company, JBS, had openly discussed paying bribes to Brazil’s former speaker of the lower house of representatives, Eduardo Cunha.

    The bribes were intended to keep Cunha silent about embarrassing secrets that could jeopardize the legitimacy of Temer’s presidency. In the leaked wiretap, Temer is heard telling Batista, “Look, you’ve got to keep that up,” referring to the bribes.

    Stédile added that the only reason Temer had not been impeached yet was because the ruling elites had not agreed yet on who would replace him.

    In his opinion, the solution to the current political crisis does not lie in having congress choose Temer’s successor, but in free, direct elections, as the majority of Brazilians have been demanding.

    Brazilian Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles said on Tuesday President Michel Temer’s government will remain in power despite an investigation into the leader’s alleged involvement in a growing political corruption scandal.

    Meirelles also said the government maintains its commitment to passing an ambitious economic reform agenda. He told reporters he does not see any strong or relevant political figures seeking to reverse the proposed measures on changing labor and pension laws.

    Opposition protesters have promised to continue their demonstrations calling for new elections and Temer’s resignation.



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