‘Printed votes are only on the agenda to generate instability in the 2022 elections’, says Rodrigo Maia – Prime Time Zone


In an interview with Prime Time Zone, former president of the Chamber analyzed the current political situation and possible contexts for the next election: ‘Bolsonaro should be remembered as a mistake that should not be repeated’

Frederico Brasil/Estadão ContentMaia is the first congressman in history to command the Chamber of Deputies three times

the federal deputy Rodrigo Maia (non-party) sat as President of the Chamber of Deputies for four years and seven months. Taking office in July 2016, after the resignation of then President Eduardo Cunha, Maia was re-elected in the 2017 and 2019 elections — which made him achieve the feat of being the first parliamentarian in history to command the House three times. In an emotional tone, he said goodbye to the post in February this year, handing the responsibility over to the current president of the Chamber, Arthur Lira (PP). In an interview with Young pan, the politician criticized the government of current president Jair Bolsonaro (no party), clarified the reasons that led him not to file an impeachment process against the head of the Executive, and revealed his bets for the 2022 elections – emphasizing the role of the debate on the printed vote. Check out the main points.

Bets for the 2022 elections

Amid heated debates, society is already discussing the possible political scenarios that will shape the 2022 election. Even though the drafts are well prepared, Maia analyzes that the framework is not yet closed. “The president Lula is what seems to me the most solid for 2022. However, I think there is room for the growth of an alternative to the polarization between Lula and Bolsonaro, for a project that questions the PT’s position and manages to pulverize the current president’s possibilities to advance to the second round. Today, Brazil needs a union of different fields so that, in the coming years, we can experience a country with fewer political crises. Indeed, perhaps Bolsonaro is not elected, but he cannot be forgotten by society. Even a president that is so bad for institutions and for Brazilians must be remembered, that’s the only way we won’t make the same mistakes. Brazilians should remember Bolsonaro as a mistake that should not be repeated after 2022″, he said. The names that integrate the deputy’s bets for the third way are the current governor of São Paulo, João Doria (PSDB), and the former governor of Ceará, Ciro Gomes (PDT).

Building an alternative path

Even without projecting himself directly into the 2022 election, the politician makes himself available to “build an alternative path”. “I want to participate in a project in my political field. A project that understands the importance of the liberal economy, but also understands the role of the State in reducing inequalities and coordinating the fundamental actions of the public service — such as health, education and security. In 2022, I want to promote something that will help the country to grow sustainably, develop and generate jobs.”

Against the implementation of the printed vote

Raising a question regarding the electoral process itself, the former mayor of the Chamber took a stand against the implementation of the printed vote. “I hope the Chamber rejects the PEC of the vote printed in the Commission because the intention of this project is not to improve the system, but to question it. Every act that questions the Democratic Rule of Law needs to be rejected. In fact, the parliament should rush to reject the proposal, so it could deal with what really matters: vaccination and the rising rates of unemployment, inflation and informality. The printed vote is only on the government’s agenda to generate instability in the 2022 electoral process.” To avoid defeating the proposed amendment to the Constitution (PEC), which provides for the implementation of the printed vote in elections, this Friday, 16, the government deputies managed to postpone to august the vote on the project in the Special Committee that analyzes the issue. Recently, the Chief Executive came to put in check the execution of the election without the approval of the PEC. However, for Maia, the solidity of the Armed Forces, Congress and the Federal Supreme Court (STF) “puts the chances of an institutional coup on a path with very little probability”.

Deepening the political crisis

Critical to Bolsonaro’s administration, the former president of the Chamber of Deputies considered that, increasingly, the “political crisis is deepening”. For Maia, the effects of CPI to Covid-19 are undermining the stability of the government, as the commission installed in the Senate has raised a series of suspicions related to negotiations for immunizations against the coronavirus. “Although it still has political support, the crisis surrounding the Executive is deepening because the CPI of Covid-19 is causing a great strain on the government. With the CPI, Bolsonaro began to face problems related to corruption, a topic that he always dealt with with great arrogance. All complaints are weakening management. Apart from what we already knew: the total lack of coordination and government project for the country. Even if there is economic growth, it only affects agribusiness and companies on the Stock Exchange. Inflation is destroying the purchasing power of simpler Brazilians and the middle class — which represents the majority of society. From a political point of view, we will continue to experience the worsening of the crisis, with the decisions of the parliament and the Supreme being contested by the president”, said the congressman.

Bolsonaro impeachment process

Even though the government is weakening, Maia dismisses the chances of Bolsonaro being ousted from the presidency. So far, the desk drawer of Lira, the mayor, has accumulated 126 impeachment requests against the head of the Executive. “There is political support, but this base is costing the Brazilian State a lot. As Bolsonaro’s popularity declines, congressional alliances grow stronger because the government is opening up to parliament. To give you an idea, 53% of the resources earmarked for public investments remained withheld in parliament this year. The Michel Temer government, as well as that of Bolsonaro, faced a great strain, but managed to maintain support because it had a good dialogue in Congress. In the Bolsonaro government, in each vote of the House, the Ministry of Economy opens the box and maintains the political base at the expense of the public budget and Brazilian families”, he said.

Following the line of reasoning, the deputy stated that “Bolsonaro arrives very worn out at the end of his term”. While at the head of the Chamber, Maia had the power to open one of the impeachment orders filed at the House. However, it did not. Asked about the reasons that led him not to proceed with the impediment of Bolsonaro, even though he was a great critic of the administration, the congressman analyzed that the process “would further strengthen the government”. “At that time, the Chamber did not add the number of votes necessary to continue the impeachment. The process would be overturned and this would further strengthen the Bolsonaro government. In terms of popularity, conditions were good because the president’s electoral base was dwindling. Since then, the crisis has deepened and today the situation in Bolsonaro is much worse than a year ago. Even so, the probability of an impeachment succeeding is very small”, he concluded.