Planalto sees message to Rui Costa in Congressional decision – 05/26/2023 – Power
The last-minute change in the MP’s report (provisional measure) of the reorganization of the Esplanada dos Ministérios that returns to the GSI (Institutional Security Office) the responsibility of “coordinating federal intelligence activities” was seen inside the Planalto Palace as a message from parliamentarians to the government —in particular against the Minister of Civil Affairs, Rui Costa (PT).
In addition to disturbing the portfolio’s plans, which wanted to maintain this competence in its structure, Lula’s advisers in the Planalto say that the alteration in the text will still have the side effect of causing a series of disturbances in the organization of the State’s intelligence.
This Wednesday (24), a special commission of the National Congress approved the MP that changes the structure of the government with the creation of ministries and definition of new attributions for the folders. The voted text also brought the emptying of the responsibilities of the Ministry of the Environment, commanded by Marina Silva, and the empowerment of portfolios headed by the centrão.
In addition, the rapporteur Isnaldo Bulhões (MDB-AL) decided to change the text to remove the coordination of the federal government’s intelligence activities from the Civil House – returning to the original text presented by the federal government in January.
In the first report, presented on Tuesday (23), Isnaldo had transferred this competence to the structure of the Civil House, following the design proposed by the Lula government in a decree issued in March.
In the version voted on Wednesday, however, Isnaldo returned this item to the GSI. The change does not immediately return Abin (Brazilian Intelligence Agency) to the portfolio, but it creates a legal imbroglio that could pave the way for the body’s return to the military.
The MP will now have to be appreciated in the plenary sessions of the Chamber and Senate next week, since it expires on the 1st.
Lula passed Abin to the Civil House after the coup attacks on January 8, in the midst of the PT’s distrust of the GSI military.
The MDB leader’s initiative in the Chamber reversed an entire government articulation. The Planalto counted on the approval of the provisional measure with the intelligence under the umbrella of the Civil House to, in the sequence, edit new acts and conclude the new design of the intelligence of the Brazilian State.
The assessment of government officials heard by the Sheet is that Congress wanted to demonstrate its strength in the sense that it can interfere in Executive issues — including changing the structure from within the Planalto Palace.
The message gained even more weight because it was a topic considered sensitive (the relationship between the government and the military).
They point out that this change has no ideological ballast, as in the transfer of competences that emptied the government’s environmental agenda due to pressure from the ruralist group. They also point out that Rui has been the target of complaints from parliamentarians, who criticize his lack of dialogue with Congress.
The minister came into the sights of parliamentarians for centralizing the decisions of the Civil House, withholding appointments and also placing himself as an obstacle within the Planalto for the release of amendments.
He even came to be criticized, even internally in the government, for trying to override, via decree, changes made by Congress in the Sanitation Framework, which resulted in the biggest legislative defeat suffered by Lula so far in this term.
The message comes mainly from the leader of União Brasil in the Chamber, deputy Elmar Nascimento, who is Rui’s opponent in Bahia.
Birth confirmed to Sheet that the suggestion to withdraw control of intelligence activities from the countryman’s portfolio came from him. “[A Abin] It doesn’t fit in the Civil House,” he said.
According to reports from allies of rapporteur Isnaldo Bulhões, there was no consensus on the attributions of intelligence and, as a result, the original version of the MP was returned. They still do not rule out the possibility that the passage undergoes further changes in the plenary discussions.
Despite having lost the function of coordinator of intelligence activities, Rui managed to keep other functions of the Civil House in the MP. Among them, the PPI (Investment Partnership Program).
Palace ministers believe that there is still room to negotiate some points before the Esplanada provisional measure is voted definitively in the House and Senate. However, there is a diagnosis that one cannot “stretch the rope too much” to the point of making the MP’s approval unfeasible.
That’s because, if the MP expires on June 1, the entire ministerial structure set up by Lula ceases to exist. In that case, the format of the Jair Bolsonaro (PL) government would again apply, with only 23 folders.
Palace advisers say that the alteration promoted by the parliamentarians increases the organizational crisis that has been hitting the intelligence sector since the edition of the decree that took Abin to the Civil House.
This is because there is currently a division of attributions, which is not yet fully in tune. Although Abin has migrated to the Civil House, Sisbin —which integrates more than 40 government agencies in the area of intelligence— remains in the GSI.
The government hoped, with the provisional measure, to consolidate the coordination of intelligence activities in the Civil House, to subsequently edit regulations delimiting the attributions of each body.
People following the negotiations told the Sheet that the GSI articulated in Planalto for the creation of an Abin intelligence cell within the folder. The person responsible for the position would be the deputy director of the agency, Saulo Moura da Cunha, who already works in a room next to Minister Marcos Antonio Amaro’s office.
The objective, according to Planalto members, would be to allow the GSI to have a direct interlocutor with Abin —which remains in the Civil House—, to request information and intelligence reports that help Amaro make decisions.
On Wednesday, at a hearing in the Chamber, Minister Amaro said there was a consensus in the Planalto that Abin would remain under the command of the Civil House.
“We are not working to return [a Abin para o GSI]there has already been a decision about it and there is no postulation for it to return to the GSI, but the important thing is that the GSI continues to rely on the knowledge produced by Abin”, said the general.
Amaro, however, stated that the GSI needs to be “one of the customers of the products” of Abin, because the intelligence information helps in making decisions about the security of the Planalto Palace and Lula.
“For crisis prevention and management, we have to rely on this predictability and this knowledge produced by Abin. This is important for us.”