The president of the Brazilian Senate, Renan Calheiros, said in a note issued Friday (Jun. 3) that “he views with concern” the reduction in the deadlines of the commission on the impeachment process against suspended President Dilma Rousseff. “Even though I am neither conducting the proceedings nor am I a member of the Procedural Commission, as the president of the National Congress, I view the efforts to reduce the deadlines with much concern. Especially if their goal may suggest the suppression of the rights to a defense, which are sacred,” Calheiros wrote.
The statement came after Senator Raimundo Lira, the chairman of the Senate's Procedural Commission on Impeachment, accepted yesterday (2) an objection brought forward by Senator Simone Tebet, who requested reducing from 15 to 5 days the deadline for submitting the final statements on both sides—prosecution and defense. According to the tentative schedule drawn up by Senator Antonio Anastasia, rapporteur in the case, the decision could bring the conclusion of the so-called institution stage of the case to July 13.
The president of the Senate went on to ague that speeding up the process is desirable, but that should not hold the defense in check. “To accelerate the process is crucial to prevent the case from dragging out indefinitely. For such, it is possible to reduce bureaucratic formalities without, however, reining in the due legal process, especially when it comes to the right to a defense. Ten days in history do not pay the cost it would require to suppress them,” Calheiros maintains.
Since allies of the suspended president challenged the decision, an appeal was filed to Supreme Court Chief Justice Ricardo Lewandowski, who has been in charge of the case in the upper house since May 12, when the full Senate voted to bring Rousseff to trial. The justice has the final word on this and any other matter that may not be resolved in the Commission.
Calheiros also noted that lawmakers should avoid appealing to the supreme court chief justice for issues that could be settled among the lawmakers themselves. “I believe it is prudent to avoid lodging appeals all the time to the court to handle objections. Sensible and classified as [Lewandowski's] decisions may be—and they are—it is inappropriate to overload him with work typically done by Congress. We face the risk of incurring in a transfer of responsibility,” he stated.
Translated by Amarílis Anchieta/Fabrício Ferreira
Fonte: Agência Brasil.