Dilma Rousseff: In defence of her Godfather
It is not the place of an elected president to decide if someone is innocent or guilty. It is not a president’s duty to defend or to attack a politician whose behavior has risen suspicion.
An elected president must remain neutral, for he or she is the representative of a nation, not of a political party.
In Brazil, however, it is quite the opposite. Here, Dilma Rousseff has proven to the public, beyond all reasonable doubt, that she cannot be neutral, that she will put the interests of her party before those of her country.
In fact, given the latest revelations about her intention to offer her godfather, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, a position in government to avoid prosecution, simply proves what everyone already suspected: She is corrupt to the core.
It is not known who has more desire that Lula is appointed Minister; the former president himself or the opposition. Meanwhile, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, weighs giving her mentor a cabinet position to prevent his arrest for alleged corruption in the Petrobras scandal. For the opposition, the move would be to recognize their guilt and it would help advance a legal challenge against Rousseff.
This is more than just a rumor and there is no doubt that the ruling Workers Party (PT) evaluates the possibility to grant immunity to Lula since he was arrested on March 4th. Then, he was interrogated on suspicion of receiving money from builders and developers to facilitate an exchange of contracts with the state oil company Petrobras. However, the rumor was amplified after prosecutors from the state of São Paulo requested preventive detention for the former President for allegedly hiding assets and money laundering in a case related to the Petrolão scandal.
Some of the positions that Lula has been offered include the Civil House, a position at the Communications Department, the Ministry of Government and Justice. Occupying a position in government would help Lula avoid his arrest or be tried by the judge in the Petrobras case. Instead, he could only be tried by the Supreme Court.
The three major newspapers in Brazil reported it as a given that Lula would be appointed as minister yesterday after holding a meeting with Rousseff. The O Globo newspaper was critical of the government and ‘confirmed’ the information citing sources close to Lula. However, late yesterday, the newspaper indicated that the appointment had been postponed after the explosive statement disclosed by informer Delcídio Amaral, a former spokesman for the PT in the Senate, who was arrested last year in connection with the corruption scandals
The Supreme yesterday accepted as valid the testimony given by Amaral to Moro, making official what was an open secret: the former spokesman of the Worker’s Party implicated Lula and Rousseff in the corruption schemes, in addition to denouncing the Minister of Education, Aloízio Mercadante, who supposedly offered him money in exchange for his silence. The opposition immediately called for the resignation of Mercadante.
Amaral also accused Aécio Neves, the main opposition leader and former presidential candidate, confirming that the Petrolão “splashed all parties”, including those supporting the impeachment of Rousseff.
Lula has not officially accepted a position of minister yet, but he is still thinking about presenting himself as a candidate for the presidential election in 2018. The iconic leader said it even in the statement to the police on March 4, which on Monday was published in full. In his testimony he challenged the justice system to disqualify him as a candidate and said: “Everything they are doing is going to make me change my mind. I am an old man, I wanted to rest, but I will be a candidate for president in 2018 because I think many people are provoking me.”
Meanwhile, the São Paulo Stock Exchange reacted negatively yesterday to the possibility that Lula was appointed minister. The US dollar, that had fallen slightly after Lula was temporarily held in police custody, rose again on Tuesday given the possibility that the former president could avoid prosecution with the help of Dilma Rousseff.