Lula knows no Limits to his Corruption
The former Brazilian president is now meeting deputies and negotiating votes against impeaching Dilma Rousseff.
“The Government of Brazil has been transferred from Planalto to the Palace Golden Tulip hotel.” This affirmation was made by Federal Deputy Rodrigo Maia, a Democrat from the opposition party, may seem exaggerated, but it is real.
It is in this Brasilia hotel where the former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of the Workers Party (PT), promotes meetings to try to prevent the impeachment of his political goddaughter, Dilma Rousseff.
Da Silva has been seen in recent weeks at this luxury hotel with many politicians who are not guests but deputies, senators and leaders of parties. They come to the hotel so often that sometimes the hotel can be confused with an extension of the presidency .
At the meetings, participants discuss what compensation will be given for those who choose to vote against the impeachment of the president in the House.
The forecast is that the voting will take place next weekend. Posts in ministries or federal charges, promises of coalitions in local elections and even Lula’s participation in the campaign of 2018, when he may be a candidate for the presidency, are among the promises.
“What deputy does not want to have the support from Lula? There is no denying that he has great appeal to the millions that make up the lower class electorate, even as he is under attack” says the leader of the PT in the House, says Representative Afonso Florence.
Despite being one of the preferred targets of the Petrobras case, the political strength of the former President is still evident in the latest survey by Datafolha Institute, published last Saturday.
In both scenarios proposed in the survey for the elections of 2018, with Senator Aécio Neves or the governor of São Paulo, Geraldo Alckmin, the PSDB candidates in dispute- Lula leads with 21% and 22% of the voting intentions respectively. These numbers are not a surprise, as the number of people who are government-dependent continues to grow. The poorest Brazilians are the base of parties like the PT and politicians like Dilma and Lula.
For now, the only potential candidate who would overshadow the PT candidate would be Marina Silva, a so-called environmentalist who is openly supported by billionaire George Soros. Soros has been very active in Brazilian politics lately. He is one of the forces behind the move to impeach Dilma. He finances both Aécio Neves and Silva herself.
It would be interesting to know why is Lula and not Rousseff or one of her ministers the ones dedicating time to meet with parliamentarians. Most people here in Brazil believe that the reason is because of Lula’s credibility among faithful followers. Lula “does not close the door to anyone. He meets with everyone and delivers what he promises”, says a political source who is close to the PT.
As per the current rules, those who seek to impeach Rousseff need 342 of the 513 deputies to approve the process and continue the process in the Senate.
“My colleagues do not believe in Dilma, but Lula has never failed us. Next week the group meets to discuss support for the Government, and members will try to convince others to continue in the government coalition because I think it might be good for everyone,” says a deputy.
Another role of former President Lula in this crisis is to try to move the masses towards the thesis that “the impeachment, without proof that a crime was committed is a coup.” That is one of the statements that come out of the heart of the PT and its allies in an attempt to stop the impeachment.
The fight to save Dilma has gone beyond São Paulo and Rio. Last week PT leaders visited Fortaleza and Recife to participate in meetings with social movements that oppose the impeachment. PT leaders have already received invitations to meet with allies in Maranhao and Bahia to promote the same agenda. The tour of the Northeast has two reasons.
The first, in those states, governors allies of Lula and Rousseff have collaborated with local mobilizations. The second is that it is in this same region that the PT has noticed a growing opposition.
The question remains about whether there is still time to prevent 342 deputies from voting in favor of Rousseff’s dismissal.