Lula seeks alliance with Pacheco in the face of crisis with Lira – 02/07/2024 – Power

Lula seeks alliance with Pacheco in the face of crisis with Lira – 02/07/2024 – Power

President Lula (PT) intensified his relationship with the president of the Senate, Rodrigo Pacheco (PSD-MG), amid the heightened tension in the Chamber of Deputies under the presidency of deputy Arthur Lira (PP-AL).

The PT member’s trip to Minas Gerais this Thursday (8), in which Pacheco will occupy a prominent position, should consolidate the alliance between the two and the Palácio do Planalto’s strategy of using the Senate to overcome the turbulence in the Chamber.

This week, Lira made public her complaints to Planalto, also reverberating the dissatisfaction of deputies with the pace of releasing amendments.

But the president of the Chamber has already told allies that he will not discuss projects of interest to the government if the chief minister of the Secretariat of Institutional Relations, Alexandre Padilha (PT), is kept in office.

Pacheco and Lula have been getting closer since last year, but Lira’s threats made Planalto reinforce the movement to try to balance the correlation of forces in Parliament. As president of the National Congress, it is up to Minas Gerais, for example, whether or not to call a session to analyze presidential vetoes.

One of Lira’s criticisms was precisely about Lula’s veto of R$5.6 billion in parliamentary amendments to the budget. Members of both Houses threaten to overturn Lula’s decision.

On Monday (5), Lula received Pacheco at the Planalto Palace shortly after Lira’s tough speech at the opening ceremony of the legislative year. The meeting was accompanied by criticism from the president of the Chamber, Padilha. The Chief Minister of the Civil House, Rui Costa (PT) also participated in the conversation.

The meeting, outside the official agenda, served as a way for Lula and Pacheco to discuss announcements scheduled for the presidential trip to Minas this Thursday.

The intention is for Pacheco to be presented as one of the creators of the investment and financing plan for the state. The president of the Senate must also be placed as the main formulator of measures to resolve the Minas Gerais government’s billion-dollar debt with the Union.

This will be Lula’s first trip to the state in his third term, which was crucial to guaranteeing victory in 2022. Thus, the Executive is preparing a large event, with authorities and leaders from civil society and business, reaching around 600 guests .

In addition to Rui, the event will be attended by the ministers of Mines and Energy, Alexandre Silveira –who is also from Minas Gerais–, Transport, Renan Filho (MDB), Education, Camilo Santana (PT), Health, Nísia Trindade, and Management and Innovation, Esther Dweck.

The idea is to provide an account of what has already been done in the state and announce more investments. Lula should go to Minas again in March, according to allies, to launch works.

Among the announcements scheduled for this Thursday is the transfer of land near the airport to the City of Belo Horizonte. Work on the BR-318 ring road is also on the forecast list.

In addition to Monday’s meeting, Pacheco has already met the president at least seven times at Planalto, according to official diary records.

Lula and Pacheco met during the 2022 electoral race, but have strengthened relations since then. The alliance is also electorally pragmatic, as the PT still has difficulties in gaining a foothold in Minas — today divided and with strong Bolsonaro bases.

In Belo Horizonte, the expectation is that federal deputy Rogério Correia (PT-MG) will confirm himself as a pre-candidate for mayor. But at the state level, the party does not have a strong name to compete for.

Pacheco is an ally of the center and, according to reports, a strong candidate to have the support of the PT to run for state government in 2026. The senator’s interlocutors say that Lula himself has already discussed the issue with him.

“The PT finds a natural path [ter] Pacheco in the state government. We’ve made alliances before,” Correia told the reporter. “He has a good relationship with us, since he was a federal deputy. Even before, when he was from the OAB. He has always been our companion,” he added.

Lula has also invited the Minas Gerais senator to meetings outside the country. In December, upon returning from the UN conference on climate change, Pacheco told nearby senators that he was impressed by the warm way in which the president was greeted by global leaders such as Olaf Scholz, chancellor of Germany, and Emmanuel Macron, president of France.

The PT member also asked the president of the Senate to cancel a vacation trip that he had arranged with his family to participate in the ceremony that marked the year-long attack on the headquarters of the Three Powers. Lira missed the event.

At the inauguration of Ricardo Lewandowski as Minister of Justice and Public Security, Pacheco accompanied the president as he descended from his office to the Planalto Palace hall.

According to the PT’s allies, Lula hopes to count on Pacheco’s support to postpone until the second half of March the convening of the Congress session in which the presidential vetoes on the 2024 Budget will be voted on.

Until then, the economic team must gain time to negotiate measures of interest to the government. The Planalto Palace’s assessment is that parliamentarians, led by Lira, still regret the loss of greater control over the budget compared to what they had in the government of Jair Bolsonaro (PL).

A palace official said it was a “weaning” of parliamentary amendments, which have broken records in recent years.

During the ceremony on Monday (5), Lira made a point of showing her dissatisfaction with the Government’s political articulation. Upon arrival, Lira accompanied Rui to access the Chamber plenary, leaving Padilha behind.

Lira chatted animatedly with the Chief of Staff throughout the ceremony, even whispering in Rui’s ear, while Padilha was sitting at the end of the table.

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