Revocation of mandate: Sergio Moro begins trial this Monday (1st)

Revocation of mandate: Sergio Moro begins trial this Monday (1st)


The Regional Electoral Court of Paraná (TRE-PR) will begin judging this Monday (1st), senator Sergio Moro (União-PR), accused of abuse of economic power. The process, which could result in the revocation of the mandate and also leave the former Lava Jato judge ineligible for eight years, is led by the PL, the party of former president Jair Bolsonaro, and the Brazilian Federation of Hope, made up of PCdoB, PV and PT – President Lula’s acronym.

The trial will have the effect of impacting the entire national political scenario, given the possible repercussions of one result or another, and due to Moro’s relevance in the national context in recent years.

The content of the actions that will be judged revolve around Sergio Moro’s pre-election expenses between 2021 and 2022, a period in which he presented himself as a pre-candidate for the Presidency of the Republic for Podemos.

The candidacy for Palácio do Planalto did not prosper and, in March 2022, Moro migrated to União Brasil and tried to run for federal deputy for São Paulo. The change of electoral domicile, from Curitiba to the capital of São Paulo, was blocked by the Electoral Court and he ended up running as a candidate for senator for Paraná, being elected with more than 1.9 million votes.

The actions indicate that the expenses and structure of the pre-presidential campaign were “disproportionate” and ended up giving the former judge a decisive advantage over any other candidate for the Senate in Paraná. Furthermore, the sum of the pre-campaign expenses and the expenses incurred when running for senator would exceed the stipulated ceiling.

In December last year, the Public Electoral Ministry (MPE) issued an opinion arguing that the senator should lose his mandate and become ineligible until 2030. The TRE-PR is made up of seven magistrates. If four vote for conviction, Moro’s ticket will be revoked by the regional court.

If this happens, the senator will not lose his mandate immediately. Regardless of the decision taken in Paraná, the case must go to the Superior Electoral Court (TSE), which will give the final word on the punishment imposed on the former judge. If the TSE’s decision is unfavorable to Moro, supplementary elections will be called to elect a new senator to represent Paraná until 2030.

President of TRE-PR says that ‘society can expect transparency’

To Estadão, judge Sigurd Roberto Bengtsson, who was sworn in as president of TRE-PR at the beginning of this month, said that Moro’s trial will not have Operation Lava Jato as a backdrop. According to Bengtsson, the judges’ votes will be transparent and “there is no possibility of society’s fear” about a possible politicization of the process.

“There is a lot of… I don’t know if it’s bad faith or lack of knowledge in approaching the issue. What I want to make clear is that society can expect transparency. It will be a transparent process and carried out as required by the Federal Constitution. There is no possibility of fear from society, a judgment will be made in accordance with the tradition here at TRE”,

said Bengtsson.

Trial should show division over Lava Jato legacy

In the opinion of electoral lawyer Guilherme Gonçalves, from the Brazilian Academy of Electoral and Political Law (Abradep), it is unlikely that the trial at TRE-PR will have a unanimous vote either for the impeachment or acquittal of the former judge.

According to the expert, the decisive vote must be given by the rapporteur of the action, judge Luciano Carrasco Falavinha. “If it goes to impeachment, Moro will most likely lose,” he observes.

Gonçalves, who works in the electoral justice system of Paraná, observes that the trial should expose a division that exists among the state’s judges over the legacy of Lava Jato. According to the lawyer, the Court is made up of members who supported the task force and members who tend to revise actions. Despite this factor, the expert points out that votes must be based on technical criteria.

“There are many more conservative judges who had very strong and effusive support for Lava Jato and who think that a possible impeachment of Moro could be a humiliation that could affect Paraná and the so-called ‘Republic of Curitiba’. There are others who, on the contrary, think that what delegitimized the Judiciary was the fact that Moro entered politics after having had the credibility and notoriety he had”,

explains the expert.

Vote for judge chosen by Lula could be decisive

According to Electoral Law specialist Alberto Rollo, one of the main points to observe in the trial is the performance of judge José Rodrigo Sade who, on the eve of the consideration of Moro’s case, was appointed by President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT ) to compose the TRE-PR. Sade’s entry into the Court was due to the retirement of judge Thiago Paiva dos Santos, at the end of last year.

In 2017, when he was the judge of the 13th Court of Curitiba, Moro sentenced Lula to nine years and six months in prison for passive corruption and money laundering. The sentences were annulled in 2021. Back at Palácio do Planalto, the PT member explained on several occasions that he still has quarrels with the senator.

In March last year, when the Federal Police (PF) discovered a plan by the Primeiro Comando da Capital (PCC) to attack Moro, Lula said that the case would be a “frame” by the former judge.

For Rollo, there is a fear that Sade’s vote was “ordered”, that is, that the new magistrate was chosen by the federal government due to his conception of the abuse of economic power in the pre-campaign. “This does not mean that the judge will not vote according to what he interprets,” said the expert.

“The fear is that perhaps, at some point, one of the criteria was to ask: ‘how do you see the abuse of economic power in the pre-election campaign?’, explained Rollo. “And then, with this answer, we more or less know how he will decide Moro’s specific case”, he added.

Electoral lawyer believes the trial should be extended

There is also an expectation that the trial will not end this Monday. According to Abradep electoral lawyer Paulo Ferraz, the complexity of the accusations against Moro should lead to a request for a review by the magistrates.

“I think it is an opinion that has a lot of strength, but it is not a judgment that will end in the first session. There will be at least one request for a review, and it could be from the new judge. This is because he will join the Court in a very short time to analyze a thousand-page process”,


According to the TRE-PR’s internal regulations, if a magistrate requests a review of the case, the consideration of the case will be suspended for ten days, with the agenda being inserted in the session following the end of the period. The order can be extended for another ten days.

Judgment may lead to changes in electoral rules

For electoral lawyer Ana Cláudia Santano, Moro’s trial could become an opportunity to establish technical criteria for pre-campaigns.

In the Brazilian Electoral Code, there are no descriptions of the values ​​that candidates must employ nor what would be the beginning and end of a pre-campaign.

The precedent that should be used to judge Moro is, ironically, the impeachment of former senator Selma Arruda (Podemos-MT), known as “Moro in skirts”, at the end of 2019. Selma had her mandate revoked by slush funds and abuse of economic power during the 2018 elections, that is, the same crimes that are attributed to Moro by the PL.

Ana Cláudia argues that objective criteria be created to guide candidates before the start of electoral campaigns and states that the current analysis used by electoral law is “flawed”.

“The pre-campaign concept doesn’t work here and doesn’t work in the countries where it exists. It is a very commendable attempt by us to try to regulate the economic power of the candidacies and make them a little more balanced. But the fact is that we are failing”,

he said.

Paulo Ferraz believes that the trial should motivate the Legislature to carry out an electoral reform to regulate the issue, considering that a possible conviction of the former Lava Jato judge could serve as a precedent that leads to other impeachments of parliamentarians.

“It will shake up Congress so that it will have to legislate on pre-campaign issues, something that we electoral lawyers have been fighting for a long time”, observed the expert.

Read more:

Minister authorizes investigation against senator Sergio Moro

Minister authorizes investigation against senator Sergio Moro


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