BRASÍLIA — For Luciano Bivar, president of União Brasil, a party that recently emerged from the merger between DEM and PSL, those affiliated to the acronym will have to adapt to the party program or take its “paths”. After helping to elect Jair Bolsonaro in 2018 for the PSL, Bivar says it is time to “repair what he did in the past” and that he does not want Brazil to repeat what it went through during the dictatorship.
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Will the ministers of the Bolsonaro government who are currently in the DEM, Tereza Cristina (Agriculture) and Onyx Lorenzoni (Labour), remain in the party?
What we want is for everyone who is in PSL and DEM to stay.
Even the Pocketnarists?
These are decisions that are up to each of them, not us. We have a program and everyone has to adapt to that. I am a partisan. Anyone who is comfortable or uncomfortable, can take the path that suits him best.
Is the goal in the 2022 elections to be the “third way” party?
I wouldn’t say we want to be the third way. We want to represent a candidate who will definitely go to the second round.
Would you support Sergio Moro, for example?
I am a spokesperson for União Brasil. This has to be decided in the party.
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What are the main cadres for the election today?
The DEM has an infinity, it has the ex-minister of Health Luiz Henrique Mandetta, it has the president of the Senate, Rodrigo Pacheco, it has the governor of Goiás, Ronaldo Caiado, it has the ACM Neto (president of the DEM). It’s very rich. The PSL also has good staff, but I’m more embarrassed to say it, since I’m from the PSL.
As president of União Brasil, would you sit down to talk to Bolsonaro?
I am the spokesperson for União Brasil, and circumstantially I am the president. But nothing will be done in the party without an agreement with the bench. I’m not just saying about Bolsonaro, but about any leader. I have to make arrangements with União Brasil’s bench. I’m like a prince of Buckingham Palace who only goes on things ordered by the prime minister. A more liturgical representation.
Would the prime minister be ACM Neto (general secretary of the party)?
It’s the collegiate. Today, I no longer feel responsible for everything, as I was at PSL.
How will the relationship be with the Poconarista bench? Should they leave?
There are always splits on account of leaderships in the Chamber, but these quarrels were between them. Now there’s a bigger party, there’s a new feeling. People of good, of value, of proposals, have no reason not to forget about the raids.
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Do you still have any regrets about the episode of the PSL crisis with Bolsonaro?
Why be angry with someone who has never caused me any material harm? I think we made a project together, for a different and reformist country, with a thriving economy, with the reduction of an idle and wasteful state. But, unfortunately, there was a slippage in the administration of the country and certainly everyone has an idea of what is best for the country. My idea today is different from his idea. But that doesn’t mean we feel bad for each other. I don’t have grievances. I have a 17 year old granddaughter. How can I run the risk today of seeing girls like my granddaughter spend 30 years without their political rights? With your civil rights curtailed? I was from a college (in the dictatorship) and was active in politics and I already had the idea that it was all like a student union. We were arguing and the AI-5 came and changed everything. So sometimes I didn’t even care. They called me the bourgeois right. My friends were activists against that, but I was hopeless back then. Many of them had to travel abroad. Others just have a picture on the wall. So, I don’t want to contribute to this. Something that gives me an opportunity to repair something I’ve done in the past. The moment still remains for me.
Repair in what sense?
It’s never too late to ask for forgiveness, to repair my ways. So that’s life. What can we repair from things in the past that were right or wrong? So, if we have the strength and sap to repair, let us repair. Be resilient.
Is the defense of civil liberties crucial at this time?
For me it’s crucial.
The PSL suffered from complaints about orange candidacies. How are you going to ensure that this doesn’t happen again in 2022?
Distortions happen. In this last municipal election, more than three thousand women had between one and zero votes. This is an unacceptable thing. Regarding participation, do you have to encourage women? Yes he has. But right now you have legislation running according to the demands. You have to fight machismo first.