Thousands of protesters across Brazil protested against President Jair Bolsonaro this weekend because the populist leader is under pressure for alleged corruption in the procurement of Covid-19 vaccines .
The rally was held in at least 13 state capital cities. One day ago, the Supreme Court authorized a criminal investigation into whether Bolsonaro was engaged in the crime of “prevarication”, that is, negligence of duty for personal gain.
Bolsonaro was accused of failing to act on suspected misconduct because a whistleblower from the Ministry of Health claimed to personally raised concerns about a 1.6 billion reais (320 million U.S. dollars) transaction. The transaction acquired 20 million Covaxin produced by India’s Bharat Biotech for 1.6 billion reais (320 million U.S. dollars).
This scandal The issue came to the fore after Luis Ricardo Miranda, the head of the import department of the ministry, highlighted the suspected violations in the invoices. The civil servant said he was pressured by a senior government official to execute the order.
Miranda and his brother, a federal congressman, testified last month Congress investigation They have referred the issue to the President of Brazil, who promised to raise the matter to the police. However, the Federal Police stated that they had not received any request for investigation.
The ministers denied that there was a violation of the Covaxin agreement, which involved an intermediary company, and insisted that no payment was made because any batch of vaccine has not yet been delivered. Bolsonaro and Bharat have previously denied any wrongdoing in the supply of Covaxin. On the recommendation of the Federal Auditor General, the Ministry of Health temporarily suspended the contract.
More than half a million people died Coronavirus disease In the most populous country in Latin America, the dispute has become a political problem for the Bolsonaro government. The return of protesters to the streets of big Brazilian cities has increased the pressure on the president before he can run for re-election next year.
Many people claimed that the populist leader who had criticized the blockade and belittled the use of masks was negligent in responding to the epidemic.
“The’silent’ majority opposed to the president began to take to the streets, led by the left, but the support of centrist voters is increasing. The wheels are forcibly opposing the president,” Mario Marconini, managing director of Teneo, Brazil ) Say.
However, political analysts are skeptical of the investigation’s potential impact. Any criminal charges against the President require the support of two-thirds of the House of Commons to proceed. Given Bolsonaro’s network of alliances in Parliament, this is an unlikely outcome.
“If the attorney general nominated by Bolsonaro decides that there is sufficient evidence to prosecute him, the Supreme Court will need the approval of the House of Commons to move forward, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives Arthur Lilla will be powerless,” statesman Eduardo D. Said Eduardo Mello. Scientists from the Getúlio Vargas Foundation emphasized the alliance between Bolsonaro and Lira.
A group of left-wing and right-wing representatives filed new impeachment requests last week, but the prospects now look bleak. Lira, the leader of the House of Commons, who must approve any request, has not indicated until now that he intends to initiate proceedings.
Lucas de Aragão, a partner at consulting firm Arko Advice, said: “Bolsonaro still maintains a 25% approval rating in the polls, and his allies in parliament are in a good position.” “This scandal is destructive but not necessarily fatal. of.”