‘Bolsonaro uses public machinery to shield itself from investigations’, says Kim Kataguiri – Young Pan

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In an interview with Prime Time Zone, deputy spoke about the super request for impeachment and the demonstrations against the current government called by the MBL

Kim Kataguiri says he can change parties to run for election

After endorsing the campaign in favor of the election of Jair Bolsonaro in the second round of 2018, the federal deputy Kim Kataguiri (DEM-SP) says he regrets the vote. On the 30th, he signed a super order for impeachment alongside Gleisi Hoffmann, national president of the PT, and other leftist leaders. A few days later, he announced that the MBL – movement that led the demonstrations that called for ‘out, Dilma’ in 2016 – will take to the streets against Bolsonaro in September. In an interview with Young pan, Kataguiri said the president has become what he claimed to fight, involved in alleged corruption scandals. The deputy also spoke about the 2022 elections and the possibility of leaving the DEM to seek re-election by another party.

You and the MBL have been taking a stand against the government and have called protests for September 12th. You supported the president in 2018. At what point did that change? On May 26, 2019, when he and his bases called for demonstrations against the National Congress and the Supreme Court. At that moment, we realized that he had no commitment to democracy and was willing to do whatever was necessary to maintain his power project. And this was aggravated by the pandemic, the criminal negligence with which he conducted or failed to purchase the vaccine, sabotaged all measures of social distancing to contain the virus, doing the opposite, encouraging and participating in agglomerations. And with the departure of the minister Sergio Moro his direct interference in the Federal Police to shield himself and his children in the scandal that he himself was part of, the embezzlement of public money and embezzlement, was open. But the trigger for our change in posture was May 26, 2019.

Why did you decide to call separate demonstrations? Wouldn’t joining the ones that are already taking place have more strength? First, left demonstrations have been taking place for a long time and we disagree with the moment they were called, because it makes no sense for us to criticize the president for the criminal negligence in the pandemic and promote agglomerations, albeit with a mask, with the danger of if you have a third wave. So we prefer to schedule the demonstration for when the situation is safer. And second, there is no segregation of any kind. Anyone who wants to attend the demonstration, from any ideological spectrum, will be welcome — as long as they defend the impeachment of the President of the Republic. There will be no anticipation of campaign, no type of candidacy, no political party soundtrack, precisely to avoid something that divides us.

You presented the super request for impeachment alongside parties such as the PT and the PCdoB, which you have always been against. Do you believe in a dialogue with the acronyms of the left at this moment? I continue to take a stand against the ideas of all these political parties and some of their figures, which does not deprive me of the pragmatism of knowing that we only overthrow the President of the Republic with the vote of the parliamentarians of each of these parties who are now calling for impeachment . So, punctually, in this cause I don’t see any problem in dialoguing and signing initiatives together.

The president of the Chamber, Arthur Lira, has already said that he should not accept the request. Do you see any chance of the process being opened at another time? I do see. He said that it is not the president of the Chamber who makes the impeachment, but the impeachment that makes the president of the Chamber. And it’s true. Impeachment is something that starts from the outside in. It will not be an initiative from within the National Congress. It has to be imposed by society, which is why the demonstrations have a duty to be large, precisely to force the president of the Chamber to accept the request. From the moment it becomes very expensive to associate his image with the president, more than all the support that Bolsonaro has already sold via positions and amendments, when it is no longer worth selling for anything like that and the association itself with the President of the Republic already represents a threat to the re-election of these figures from the Centrão, then the impeachment becomes inevitable as was the case of Dilma. Today we have an opposition that defends impeachment and moves forward to have the support of the center and the right.

The MBL gained strength in 2016, with the demonstrations against former president Dilma, raising an anti-corruption flag. How do you assess the allegations of alleged irregularities in the purchase of vaccines by the Bolsonaro government and also of the cracks scheme? I think he is becoming exactly what he claimed to fight, succumbing to corruption scandals, using the public machine to shield himself from investigations, ending the Lava Jato operation. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen any investigation of white-collar corruption schemes in Brasília against any deputy or senator. There is a real “hush” operation underway with the Attorney General’s Office, the attorney appointed by the president, and with the PF much less focused on fighting corruption than we had previously with Lava Jato. In addition to the approval of a series of measures, the Administrative Misconduct Law, the attempt to pass the impunity PEC, the approval of the Abuse of Authority Law, several initiatives sponsored by the President of the Republic that diminished the power of investigation and increased intimidation to judges and prosecutors who work in the fight against corruption.

Do you regret your vote? Certainly. If it were a second round today between Lula and Bolsonaro, or between Bolsonaro and Haddad, I would nullify the vote. I would in no way commit myself to a project of corrupt power, of democratic backwardness, more concerned with making populism and staying in power at all costs, whether at the cost of democracy or at the cost of public coffers. Today I would not vote.

How do you see the scenario for the 2022 elections? There is much talk about a possible third way, but polls already point to a second round between Lula and Bolsonaro. I believe in a third way. Today, if you put it in the polls, people who don’t want neither Lula nor Bolsonaro would be in second place. First Lula, then those who do not want either one or the other, and Bolsonaro in third place. We need to get this alternative. Need to see what the name is exactly. I think that the third way is possible for those who manage to reach the end of the year with double digits of voting intentions and have a firm speech in the fight against PT and pocketbookism.

And do you see any pre-candidates with this potential at the moment? MBL talks a lot with two figures, João Amoêdo and Sergio Moro, who are very much in line with this construction of an alternative. But we don’t know exactly whether Moro’s intention is to run for the election or not and whether João Amoêdo will get the support of the Partido Novo to run. So it’s still an embryonic movement.

Recently the STF confirmed Sergio Moro’s suspicion. Do you think this could harm a possible candidacy for him? No. I think all the attacks that were made on him were made to Operation Lava Jato. There is no longer anything that could go against his image, even because Lula was privileged with the re-analysis of a matter that had already been defeated, had already been analyzed by the Supreme Court. Unfortunately the former president was privileged with this and with the validation of illicit evidence as well, obtained through crime. I don’t think this has much effect on former minister Sergio Moro’s image.

His party, the DEM, is still very much aligned with the government. Do you think the president could lose the support of the Centrão by 2022? I have no doubt about that. Today we have several DEM parliamentarians who are close to Bolsonaro, but who have no commitment for 2022, as is the case with most parties in the Centrão. The government leader in the Chamber [Ricardo Barros (PP-PR)] he was an ally of Lula, deputy leader of the Dilma government, so they are people who do not have great ideological convictions and depending on the electoral wave, on the dominant discourse, they easily change sides.

Do you intend to seek re-election in 2022? I do, yes.

By the DEM itself? What are the plans so far? I am very focused on Arthur do Val’s candidacy for the government of São Paulo. He is my candidate for governor and I have been traveling around the state with him to gather support from mayors, councilors and civil society. We dialogue with various parties to find out which one will provide the subtitle for him to run in this election. For now, we don’t have the exact definition of which subtitle he will run for, but wherever he goes I go and dispute the election for the same party.