Lula calls Marina to a meeting after the congressional offensive – 05/25/2023 – Politics
President Lula (PT) started a movement to assuage the dissatisfaction of Minister Marina Silva (Environment) and prevent her from leaving office.
On Wednesday (25), the minister was the target of an offensive in the National Congress, which involved the dehydration of attributions of the Ministry of the Environment, the approval of an MP (provisional measure) with passages that loosen the preservation of the Atlantic forest and the vote of urgency of a project that hinders the demarcation of indigenous lands.
After the votes in Congress, Lula nodded to Marina and Minister Sonia Guajajara (Indigenous Peoples), who also saw the functions of her portfolio being emptied. The president called a meeting with the two ministers for this Friday (26) to discuss the scenario of pressure from Congress against the environmental agenda.
According to palace assistants, the intention is to honor the ministers and show that Lula still gives priority to issues of the environment and indigenous peoples. The meeting will be attended by ministers of political coordination, which includes Alexandre Padilha (Secretary of Institutional Relations) and Rui Costa (Casa Civil), in addition to government leaders.
On another front, the Planalto Palace intends to veto the MP device that weakened the protection of the Atlantic forest – the bet is that the Senate will maintain the veto.
The commitment to veto this section was a compromise made since the text was first passed by the Chamber.
In the Senate, the inclusion of the item referring to the Atlantic Forest was criticized even by important opposition figures, such as former Minister Tereza Cristina (PP-MS). The President of the House, Rodrigo Pacheco (PSD-MG), then articulated with the government to overturn the stretch.
The device, however, was retaken by the deputies.
Despite this, allies claim that Lula does not intend to veto the changes made to the Ministry of the Environment in the MP that reorganized the Esplanada. The assessment is that a veto in this sense would generate more friction with the ruralist caucus.
The main fear is that, in this case, the Chamber decides to retaliate against the Planalto and let the PM of the government structure lose its validity – which, in practice, would imply the return of the administrative structure of former President Jair Bolsonaro (PL).
Allies also say that at the moment there are no plans to go to court to review the structure of the environment originally planned by the government. The idea —they say— is to act in Congress itself, especially in the Senate, to reverse parts of the report in the next votes. The proposal still needs to go through the plenary sessions of the House and Senate and have its processing completed by June 1.
Although Lula’s advisers deny the intention of prosecuting the court, this possibility was discussed by Marina when she was in the Chamber of Deputies, on Wednesday. In an audience with parliamentarians, she stated that she predicted that third sector organizations could appeal against the change in the Esplanada.
In the case of the demarcation of indigenous lands —which, according to the text of the Congress, leaves the ministry of Sônia Guajajara to that of Justice—, there is already a Direct Action of Unconstitutionality in the Supreme Court that questions the change of guardianship of the subject.
The process was opened after the Bolsonaro government tried to pass demarcation attributions to the Ministry of Agriculture.
Although he does not show willingness to fight against the centrão led by the mayor, Arthur Lira (PP-AL), Lula and close allies are concerned about the crisis involving Marina.
Lula’s interlocutors fear a negative international repercussion less than a week after the president said, in Japan, that the “false dichotomy between growth and protection of the environment should already be overcome”.
The fear is that an eventual departure of the minister will undermine the image of the representative of a leader committed to preserving the environment.
The leader of the government in Congress, Randolfe Rodrigues (non-AP party) says that the government will try to “remedy” what he considered a defeat of the administrative structure.
“We want to make the composition of the government as broad as possible. It doesn’t change much the relationship we are having with them [Congresso]. We are facing a reality of a Parliament that we did not have a majority”, said Randolfe.
“The Brazilian people elected a president with one position, and a Parliament mostly with another. We have to mediate and we cannot win everything here. Many times, we lose, as was the case yesterday on the environmental and indigenous issue”, continued the leader from the government.
The government’s fear stems from Marina’s publicly declared dissatisfaction.
“It is not an easy situation to handle, because the government does not have a majority in Congress”, said Marina this Thursday, during the inauguration of the new president of ICMBio (Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation), Mauro Pires.
Later on Thursday, Marina published a photo next to Lula, taken during their meeting at the Itamaraty Palace.