The Brazilian president, Michel Temer, in a ceremony to sign oil concessions, on January 31, 2018 at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia
In a homemade video filmed on a yacht, Cristiane Brasil, surrounded by four muscular men with naked torso, tried to minimize the sentence that prevents her from assuming her job as Minister of Labor for Michel Temer.
Brazil, deputy of the Brazilian Labor Party (PTB, right), was chosen on January 3 to command that portfolio and the government continues to support it, despite the multiplication of controversies; a way of retaining, according to analysts, a score of votes in Congress to approve the reform of the pension system and other adjustment measures.
But a court in Rio de Janeiro prevented him from taking office for „administrative immorality“, after revealing that he had been convicted of infractions of labor legislation, precisely the area he intends to drive.
A higher court later gave the green light to the appointment, but a day later the supreme court froze it again, while studying the case to make a final decision.
„In this coalition presidentialism, all the parties that make up the [allied] base are fundamental, and the PTB is one of them,“ political scientist André César, of the consultancy Hold, told AFP.
The retirement reform is the „only agenda“ of the government at this time and for that, President Michel Temer „will pay any price to approve it as quickly as possible,“ although that continues to erode his low popularity, he added.
The PTB has 18 deputies of its own and includes a bloc of 26 legislators in the lower house, in addition to having two federal senators.
To be approved, the pension reform requires the support of 308 of the 513 deputies (three fifths of the seats) and then 49 of the 81 senators.
– The yacht and other controversies –
The then Brazilian deputy Roberto Jefferson delivers a speech in the lower house of Congress, in Brasilia, on September 14, 2005
Cristiane Brasil, 44, is the daughter of the president of the PTB, the former deputy Roberto Jefferson, condemned by the so-called „mensalao“, a scheme for buying votes from parliamentarians in exchange for support for the government of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (2003 -2010).
He was sentenced to more than ten years in prison, but when he cooperated with the justice system, he finished 14 months of effective prison and was pardoned in 2016.
In communicating the appointment of his daughter, Jefferson was moved to tears and said he considered it as „a rescue“ of their own misadventures.
But Cristiane is not only her father’s daughter. In 2016, the deputy voted in favor of the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff, wearing a shirt of the Brazilian team in the plenary.
This time with beach clothes and on board the ship with friends, he gave what many consider a false step.
„I swear to you that I thought I owed nothing to those two people who denounced me and I’m going to prove it,“ said Brasil, with electronic music in the background, trying to minimize legal demands by not formally hiring two of his drivers.
„Actions in the labor justice? All the time we face them,“ justified one of his friends, who said he was an entrepreneur.
From there, his situation continued to worsen: the newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo reported over the weekend that Brazil is being investigated for alleged links with traffickers during the campaign of one of its coreligionists in 2010.
And TV Globo broadcast an audio of a meeting in 2014 in which Brazil, then an official of the mayor of Rio, seems to try to terrorize her subordinates by telling them that if she were not elected deputy, they would lose their jobs.
In the last week, Brazil affirmed that it did not commit any illicit act and denounced a „defamatory campaign“ and that it felt judged „politically and not legally“.
He also recalled that he had paid his debt to the courts, having paid compensation for more than 60,000 reais (about $ 18,500).
– No regrets –
When asked if he regretted having named her, Temer was blunt: „No“.
„I am exercising a competence that, according to the Constitution, is exclusive to the President of the Republic,“ he answered in an interview with TV Band, promising to resort to all judicial instances so that Brazil can be a minister.
The Presidency sees judicial decisions as an infringement of the separation of powers and fears to suffer new blockages during the exchange of looming ministers.
At least 13 of the 28 ministers with aspirations to run for general elections in October (presidential, legislative and governor) should leave their posts in April, in accordance with Brazilian legislation.
Regardless of what the justice system decides about Cristiane Brasil, for the „ordinary citizen“ a question remains suspended in the air, says César: „How are you going to appoint someone to the Labor Ministry to be tried in the labor courts? It has been the demand, it is strange, badly explained, it does not help anything to a government that wants to close its management with something positive „.