Estranged from the political articulation of Palácio do Planalto, senator Davi Alcolumbre (DEM-AP) indicated to allies that he is still willing to start analyzing the nomination of André Mendonça to the STF (Supreme Court) when he is sure that the name of the Jair Bolsonaro’s former minister will be defeated.
According to the calculations of people close to Alcolumbre and the president of the Senate, Rodrigo Pacheco (DEM-MG), the House, with 81 members, is today practically divided in half on the subject. Mendonça was nominated by Bolsonaro on July 13th.
Government officials seek to convince Alcolumbre to guide the hearing and voting in the CCJ (Committee on Constitution and Justice), which he presides over.
One reason the former president of the Senate resists is the loss of power. When he commanded the House (2019-2021), Alcolumbre was responsible for coordinating the distribution of parliamentary amendments. Now, he lost the task, which has not yet been assigned to another senator.’
For Mendonça’s approval, a simple majority in the committee is required. Even if they are rejected by the CCJ, the nominations are submitted to the plenary of the Senate, where they depend on an absolute majority (41 of the 81 senators). Voting will also be secret.
Kassio Nunes Marques, the last nominee for the STF, had his name approved by 22 votes to 5 at the CCJ. In the plenary, the score was 57 to 10.
Today, according to people close to Alcolumbre, government officials see little chance for the climate to improve to unlock Mendonça’s hearing at the CCJ. Even ministers recognize that the unfavorable situation has not changed.
In an attempt to convince Alcolumbre to guide the appointment of the former attorney general of the Union, the government even put on the table the possibility that the senator would again interfere in the distribution of amendments.
Planalto gave up on the idea, however, after Alcolumbre helped to articulate the rejection of the mini-labour reform in the Senate, setting one of the biggest defeats for Bolsonaro in the House.
According to allies, the senator’s strategy is to postpone the hearing that the former government minister must pass at the CCJ and try to get the Republic’s attorney general, Augusto Aras, in his place.
The current Attorney General has more traffic in the Senate, proof of this was the approval of his reappointment, with some ease. Aras would have the support of a large part of the opposition due to his opposition to Operation Lava Jato.
Mendonça, in turn, is a name strongly linked to Bolsonaro and his nomination fulfills the promise of having a “terribly evangelical” name in the STF. The situation of the former AGU did not show signs of improvement even after the decrease in tension between the Powers last week.
Soon after the release of Bolsonaro’s rhetorical note, which changed the tone of threats to the STF ministers, government leaders sought to take advantage of the good moment to try to unlock the government’s agenda, in particular economic measures.
The objective would be to create a voting agenda until the end of this year, initially giving preference to the proposal that changes Income Tax rules and then unlocking agendas that have been slipping in the House for a long time, such as coastal shipping, the privatization of the Post Office and of the new foreign exchange market.
Senators point out that government leaders do not articulate to garner support around Mendonça’s approval or even to increase pressure on Alcolumbre to put the nomination on the agenda at the CCJ.
Alcolumbre was only questioned by minister Luiz Eduardo Ramos (General Secretariat), at a meeting between the two last week, at the request of the senator from Amapá. Alcolumbre, however, would have replied that there are no chances at this moment to guide the nomination.
In a possible new gesture in search of rapprochement, Alcolumbre was one of the 54 awarded this Tuesday (14) by the Marechal Rondon award, from the Ministry of Communications. The ceremony at the Planalto was attended by Bolsonaro.
The award was given to virtually all government ministers, Supreme Court ministers, the presidents of the two legislative houses, Pacheco and Deputy Arthur Lira (PP-AL), and other congressmen.
Among the senators, they received, in addition to Pacheco and Alcolumbre, the government leader, Fernando Bezerra (MDB-PE), and Flávio Bolsonaro (Patriota-RJ).
Recently, as shown by the column Mônica Bergamo, from sheet, documents circulated among senators showing that Mendonça met with members of Operation Lava Jato in 2019 and combined strategies to boost the prosecutors’ political agenda.
In messages, Dallagnol and members of the task force describe a meeting they had with Mendonça in February 2019, at the Ponte Vecchio restaurant, one of the most famous in Curitiba.
As a result, prosecutors released a note to the press. They even took internal minutes listing the meeting’s deliberations and each other’s political tasks. One of the highlighted points was the defense of the second instance prison.
The Mendonça column stated that the meetings he had at that time were “public and institutional”.
“This was a public meeting, institutionally scheduled, to resolve issues related to the allocation of amounts and settlement of accounts between the leniency agreements signed by the Federal Comptroller General (CGU), the Federal Attorney General (AGU) and the Federal Public Ministry (MPF)”, said a statement sent by the communication team from Mendonça.
The information of the meeting with prosecutors has increased the fear among senators that Mendonça will take over a lavajatista agenda by assuming a seat in the STF. This is precisely one of the characteristics that congressmen seek to avoid.