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Why the Next Few Days Will Be Decisive for the Bolsonaro Administration

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Polls in Congress and even pro-government acts are challenges of the Planalto Palace after President has distributed a controversial text to allies by WhatsApp.

After a week marked by protests against the blockade of resources in education, bad economic indicators and the revelation of Flavio Bolsonaro’s breach of secrecy, the government of President Jair Bolsonaro will have to face decisive questions in the coming days.

Testing for Planalto takes place while there is still echoed in the discussions of allies and opponents that the president has distributed in WhatsApp groups a text saying that Brazil is “ungovernable” and that the country “is dysfunctional.”

The message passed by Bolsonaro, published by the newspaper O Estadao on Friday, 17, also reaches the Congress – where are the main challenges of the government.

“If you do not negotiate with Congress, you are an amateur and you do not know how to do politics. If you negotiate, you succumbed to the old politics,” the text said. “To continue everything as it stands, the corporations are going to run the Bolsonaro government in the force and to approve the minimum so that Brazil does not break, just to continue maintaining their privileges.”

In this context, BBC News Brazil explains, in three points, the main challenges of Bolsonaro in the coming days.

1 – Negotiations on pension reform

With the expectation that the report of the Social Security reform proposal in the special committee of the Chamber, Deputy Samuel Moreira, will present its report in the first half of June, the government’s economic team works, in the last days of May, to avoid very deep changes in the original text.

Moreira has said that he wants to find alternatives to the transition rules contained in the proposal for pensions and pensions. He met on Sunday, March 19, with the Special Secretary for Social Security and Labor, Rogerio Marinho, and area experts to discuss the issue.

As a possible change in the transition can reduce the economy of more than $ 1 trillion expected with the reform, your rapporteur wants to find other ways to compensate for this reduction. In other words, increase government revenue in the next few years or decrease expected expenditures.

This week, the special committee agenda provides for public hearings to discuss specific points in the proposal. Meanwhile, members of the Executive and the staff of the rapporteur continue to negotiate the changes.
As the pension reform is considered to be Bolsonaro’s great challenge in Congress and a necessary measure to put public accounts up to date, all steps have been closely monitored by the team of Economy Minister Paulo Guedes.

There is great fear that problems in Bolsonaro’s relationship with Congress will affect parliamentarians’ willingness to vote on an issue as unpopular as the proposal that tightens pension and pension rules.

The first manifestation of Bolsonaro on Twitter this Monday was on the topic.

“The New Social Security is the gateway to the progress of Brazil, and with its approval, several other economic actions beneficial to the country, such as the Tax Reform, which we intend to present soon after, are understood to be an urgent desire of the Brazilians”, wrote.

2 – Provisional Measures in the National Congress

Well before the Social Security reform eventually reaches the House floor, MPs already have other important measures in hand for the Executive, which challenges the Bolsonaro administration to organize its support base in Congress.

Just this week, the House has eight provisional measures to consider. The most controversial of these is MP 870, which reorganizes the structure of government and has reduced the number of ministries from 29 to 22. Her point of discussion is, in fact, the Financial Activities Control Council (Coaf).

Originally, the text established that the Coaf would be in the structure of the Ministry of Justice and Public Security, but during the process in Congress was made an amendment to which body be linked to the Ministry of Economy. This change was a reaction of parliamentarians who believe that former judge Sergio Moro, Justice Minister, would have gained excessive power with Bolsonaro’s alterations in the Government.

After the protests against the cuts in education, it is still not clear how these acts favorable to the president could be exploited by the Plateau and to what extent they can be misinterpreted by parliamentarians.

What makes the scenario more delicate in relation to the relationship with other politicians is exactly the message passed by the president himself last week, which says that the interests of corporations are behind what happens in the country and states that Brazil will never was “governed according to the interest of the voters”.

In an interview with BBC News Brazil, state deputy Janaina Paschoal, one of the authors of Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment petition, said that “Bolsonaro has not yet understood that his actions are considered important.”

“He urgently needs to change his direct advisors. The people around him feed the conspiratorial vision that is sinking him,” she said.

Provisional measures come into force when they are published – so it has been possible to reduce the number of ministries – but they need congressional approval to stay in effect. This MP, for example, loses its validity in early June and needs to be approved by both MPs and senators in the next two weeks not to expire.

3 – Effect of Bolsonaro demonstrations

The convocation of Bolsonaro supporters for government actions on Sunday, 26, also leaves doubts about the possible effects of these demonstrations, as well as apprehension about the size of the adhesion and the tone of the messages that will be transmitted on the streets.

After the protests against the cuts in education, it is still not clear how these acts favorable to the president could be exploited by the Plateau and to what extent they can be misinterpreted by parliamentarians.

What makes the scenario more delicate in relation to the relationship with other politicians is exactly the message passed by the president himself last week, which says that the interests of corporations are behind what happens in the country and states that Brazil will never was “governed according to the interest of the voters”.

In an interview with BBC News Brasil, state deputy Janaina Paschoal, one of the authors of Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment petition, said that “Bolsonaro has not yet understood that his actions are considered important.”

“He urgently needs to change his direct advisors. The people around him feed the conspiratorial vision that is sinking him,” she said.