The interim Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, Waldir Maranhão, has formally asked party leaderships in the Chamber of Deputies to appoint members for the committee that will examine an impeachment petition against Brazil's interim President Michel Temer.
The request is a response to a complaint by Deputy Glauber Braga of the Socialism and Freedom Party (PSOL), one of the opposition parties in Temer's interim government, that the special committee had still not been set up. “The presiding officer of this house has signed the creation of a committee and sent a request to the leaderships to appoint members for the committee,” the interim speaker said.
He also said the reason the efforts to form the committee “stalled” was not the speaker's “inertia”, but the party leaderships' delay in submitting their member choices.
On April 4, Supreme Court Justice Marco Aurélio de Mello ordered the lower house speaker (then-incumbent Eduardo Cunha) to accept an impeachment petition against Temer and create a special committee to examine the case. The charges were filed by Mariel Marra Marley, who was seeking to impeach Temer over accounting maneuvers that became known as “fiscal backpedaling”. On that occasion, Cunha sent an official letter asking party leaders to appoint members for the committee. Some of the parties did not send their nominations, so the committee was not set up.
The so-called “fiscal backpedaling”—which consisted of public fund transfers allegedly made by President Dilma Rousseff to cover up a government deficit—is the main accusation in the impeachment case she is now suspended for.
Maranhão's announcement came as a surprise to the lawmakers. “In the complex scenario the country is in, you should consider it further,” Deputy Danilo Forte of the pro-government Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB) suggested.
Despite Maranhão's response, Braga said he will appeal to the Committee on Constitution and Justice (CCJ). He claims that the party leaders have had enough time to appoint the committee members and are just procrastinating to stall the proceedings.
He also argued that, based on internal rules of the Chamber of Deputies, since the leaders have not appointed the members, the lower house speaker is responsible for the nominations. “The internal rules stipulate that within 48 hours after the committee is created, if no members are appointed, the speaker themselves can make the choices.”
Deputy Givaldo Vieira, of the Workers' Party (PT), said the party is going to support Braga's appeal and has already submitted its nominations.
Translated by Amarílis Anchieta / Mayra Borges
Fonte: Agência Brasil.