By Eric Nepomuceno
After the depressing and unseemly show that was offered to millions of viewers by the honorable men and women of the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies on Sunday 17, it’s now time for their excellencies, the judges of the Superior Electoral Court, to clearly show that justice is, in Brazil, volatile and malleable.
Let’s see: after Rousseff-Temer candidacy victory in the presidential elections of 2014, the defeated candidates went to the Superior Electoral Court with four legal actions asking for the elections results to be annulled. The argument, basically, was: there were irregularities in the accounts that financed the campaign and there had been use of illegal and unjustified money.
Nobody dared to explain the following curiosities: the same company donated to the defeated candidate Aécio Neves and the winning duo. If we believe the demandants, the money destined to Neves was legal and had a legitimate origin, but the money received by the victorious party was part of a scheme of bribes paid in the illegal contracts of Petrobras.
Despite this absurd logic, the accounts of the denouncers won’t be under investigation. The trial is underway and if the Superior Electoral Court comes to the conclusion that there were in fact irregularities in the campaign expenses, it will be able to depose Dilma Rousseff and it’s Vice President Michel Temer, and convene new elections.
Two weeks ago, and in the highest point of the conspiracy to betray the President, feed her to the hyenas of the Chamber of Deputies and take over the presidency without having achieved one single vote, Michel Temer went into the Superior Electoral Court to demand a “dismemberment of campaign accounts”.
In his argumentation, presented to the highest authorities of the Electoral Justice, the cold and mellifluous Michel Temer assures that his party promoted “legal fundraising, with movements in one specific account that had an undoubtable legal destine. This would mean that his party, with an ignoble history of corruption, is actually as honest as it could be. It would be, then, unfair to be in danger of being commended for “being dragged by irregularities in the accounts of the campaign headed by Dilma Rousseff”.
The most amazing thing, however, is that there is a trend among most of the 7 members of the Superior Electoral Court to approve this outrageous and blatant thesis. The Superior Electoral Court jurisprudence shows that it has never admitted dismembering campaign accounts, but there is a first time for everything.
Three of these magistrates are also members of the Federal Supreme Court, the highest instance of justice, and earned the role of “party judges”: instead of issuing votes and judgements they launch incendiary speeches against the government, Dilma, Lula and The Worker’s Party, not necessarily in that order.
The cruelest one of the bunch, Gilmar Mendes, will assume the presidency of the Superior Electoral Court in May. His vote is the most obvious vote.
In informal conversations carefully filtered to large hegemonic media, the champions of the coup and poisoners of public opinion, argued —asking, of course, for a ridiculous anonymity— that it’s essential to save the ‘mandate’ of Michel Temer.
According to this version, the court will play a fundamental role to avoid a “crisis of governability in the country”, that would match the “consequences of the impeachment”.
Michel Temer could only reach government through an institutional coup, lead by Eduardo Cunha, who heads the Chamber of Deputies thanks to the unjustified silence of the Superior Electoral Court, where he is accused. There is no proof that Dilma Rousseff has committed a crime of responsibility, which would be the only constitutional reason to dismiss a President.
In the pathetic session in which Parliamentarians voted to open the political trial against Rousseff, 29 deputies voted “for the family”, 27 did so “for God”, one for “my daughter”, another “for my granddaughter”, another “to prevent children’s gender reassignment”… the absurd list is long and sickening. Very few mentioned the alleged “crimes of responsibility” committed by the President.
The Senate will probably open the trial, which will go on for 180 days. During that time, Michel Temer will take office as provisional President.
If by any chance, in that period, the Superior Electoral Court annuls the outcome of the 2014 elections, he would be doomed, as Dilma Rousseff. Hence the need to protect him.
Sad, offensive irony: while impeaching a President for something she did not do, no judge has shown concern about a “crisis of governability”, nor about the “consequences of the impeachment”.
To allow a political trial that breaks the essential rules of justice —that is, to prove the accused is guilty— is acceptable. But it’s unacceptable to let the Vice President, who betrayed the President and will take over the position, to have any judicial risk.
This story was first published in Resumen Latinoamericano / The Dawn News / April 22, 2016.