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Bitter Defeat for Brazil’s Lula in Congress

For the first time in the recent history of the Brazilian Parliament, the Chamber of Deputies will not be presided by a representative of the party that has the largest number of members in the Chamber.

In the second round of voting, Deputy Severino Cavalcanti (PP) beat the pants off the official candidate of the Workers’ Party (PT), Luiz Eduardo Greenhalgh, by 300 to 195.


The defeat of Greenhalgh, the Administration’s candidate, was a demonstration that the majority of the Congress is unhappy with the way the Federal Executive deals with the parliamentary branch.


Leaders of both the parties that make up the Administration’s base of support and those that are opposed acknowledged that the victory of the Deputy from Pernambuco signifies that there is a huge distance between the plans of the Administration and what the members of Congress desire.


“The Administration nowadays has a political base that isn’t entirely reliable. I would say that there was treachery and bad management in Greenhalgh’s campaign. Moreover, the members of Congress are pissed off about a lot of matters,” said the leader of the PSB in the Chamber, Deputy Renato Casagrande.


For the Administration’s vice-leader in the Chamber, Deputy Beto Albuquerque (PSB-RS), the opposition could have expressed its resentment in another form, instead of electing the new president of the Chamber.


He categorized Severino Cavalcanti’s election as an affront to the rule of proportionality, which distributes leadership positions according to the size of each party’s bloc in the Chamber.


Albuquerque considered the absence of a PT representative in the House leadership as “an anomaly.” “There is no parliamentary body in the world in which the largest party bloc has no representative in the key positions,” he insisted.


Severino Cavalcanti, who won the election, supported salary increases for members of Congress during his campaign. In the past he belonged to the National Renewal Alliance (Arena), one of the two political parties permitted during the military regime implanted in Brazil in 1964.


Translation: David Silberstein
Agência Brasil

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