Former Bolsonaro ally, deputy reveals Arthur Lira’s election price

In an interview with The Intercept Brasil, deputy Waldir Soares de Oliveira (PSL), former Bolsonaro ally, and better known as Delegate Waldir, revealed the backstage of the election that led Arthur Lira (PP) to the presidency of the Chamber of Deputies.

“The promise of R$ 10 million in secret budget amendments for each deputy who voted for Lira. It’s Bolsolão, the Bolsonaro government’s vote-buying scheme,” says an excerpt from The Intercept’s report.

Delegate Waldir revealed details of how Jair Bolsonaro’s “secret budget” works, that is, the exchange of votes for amendments by the rapporteur, “a new type of expenditure item that totals a mountain of R$18.5 billion in 2021, proposed by deputies whose names are kept confidential by the Chamber”.

“Waldir says he received the offer of R$ 10 million in amendments in exchange for the vote in Lira. It could have been even longer. Waldir, at one point in the conversation, said that another R$ 10 million were agreed during the same period, but he was unable to specify whether this was also in exchange for the vote in Lira or the approval of some other project at the time”, says another excerpt from the report.

The article also highlights the price of voting in favor of the Social Security reform: “If the secret budget is a novelty, the exchange of votes for amendments, no. Waldir told me that, when voting in favor of the Social Security reform, in 2019, each congressman would be entitled to R$ 20 million in federal government resources. The native of Goiás, being the leader of the PSL, took twice as much”.

Delegado Waldir was the federal deputy with the most votes in Goiás in 2018. He broke the partnership with Bolsonaro in November 2019, amid the crisis that led the President of the Republic to leave the PSL.

Sought by Intercept, Arthur Lira said, through advisers, that he would only manifest himself after the publication of the report.

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