Eliseu Lemos Padilha was veiled this Wednesday (15) in Porto Alegre. At the Piratini Palace, the seat of the Executive Branch of Rio Grande do Sul, hundreds of family members, friends and important figures in national and state politics said goodbye to the former minister and former federal deputy from Rio Grande do Sul for the MDB.
One of the illustrious presences that paid homage to Padilha was Michel Temer (MDB). On the occasion, the former president stated that he has been away from politics since leaving the Planalto Palace on January 1, 2019. However, he briefly commented on his party’s participation in the federal government of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT).
“Right now the MDB has been preaching, as I constantly preach, the pacification of the country. We have, for example, fundamental themes and one of them is the issue of the environment, which is an issue that goes beyond the territorial limits of Brazil to reach the dimension International. I think that the presence of the MDB in the government can only help the government,” he said.
Temer himself said that he stays away from national articulations. He stated that he still hasn’t spoken with Lula after the election and doesn’t expect any calls from the president. Former vice-president of the Dilma Rousseff (PT) government, he was the centerpiece of the 2016 impeachment, which raised him to the highest position in Brazilian institutional politics, making him the 37th president of the Republic.
“I didn’t talk (with Lula). I’m a little out of politics. I don’t wait (for a call from the president). I mean, I’m entirely at your orders, but I’m not waiting for a call from anyone,” he said.
Padilha is seen as one of the main political articulators of the impeachment. He was a former president’s minister and later headed Temer’s Civil House. The emedebista, however, relativized the participation of the gaucho in the process and stated that the votes came spontaneously.
“The votes came with complete spontaneity. What Padilha did was what we all did, which was to comply with the constitutional text. Padilha was skilled at counting. When he got the vote wrong, it was by one, two votes. But in this case he didn’t have to count a single vote and he didn’t have any participation that led to that episode”, said the former president.
Padilha was also very involved with local politics in Rio Grande do Sul and, more recently, was an important player in the articulation of the PSDB-MDB ticket that guaranteed the first reelection in the history of democracy in the state. Governor Eduardo Leite (PSDB) paid his respects to the former minister and commented on the case.
“He was an enthusiast of our alliance between PSDB and MDB in the last election. He had an active and important participation in the electoral process. We leave here this recognition of this work, of this effort”, thanked the governor.
Vice-Governor Gabriel Souza (MDB) himself is the result, in person, of Padilha’s work behind the scenes of Rio Grande do Sul politics. “One of the important legacies that Padilha leaves comes from its characteristic of forming new leaders. There are several that the MDB and other parties ended up forming through the action, the incentive that Padilha gave. My case, naturally. But many other parliamentarians, mayors, councilors had the minister’s support”, reported Souza.
Padilha was Minister of Labor and Chief of Staff in the Michel Temer (MDB) government, he was Chief Minister of the Civil Aviation Secretariat in the Dilma Rousseff (PT) government and Transport Minister in the Fernando Henrique Cardoso (PSDB) government. He was federal deputy for RS in three terms and mayor of Tramandaí (1989-1993). During his political career, he has always been affiliated with the PMDB/MDB, since 1966.
The capacity for political articulation and knowledge of the National Congress seemed to be unanimous among the hundreds of people present at his farewell. “Padilha was important at various times. I think a memorable characteristic was the organization”, said Baleia Rossi, national president of the MDB.
“Every time there was an important vote, and we had many with Padilha’s leadership, he had a spreadsheet and knew exactly the position of each one, whether in the Chamber, of the 513 deputies, and, in the Senate, of the 81 senators. I could be wrong, but I believe that in all Padilha’s passage through Parliament and in the Ministries, he did not make any mistake in evaluating these votes and always votes with a great representation, tension and importance for the country”, described the party leader and federal deputy.