The letter sent by vice-President Michel Temer to President Dilma Rousseff drew different responses among members of the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB). Those opposing the government argue the discontent expressed by the vice-president will bring about a rearrangement of forces and strengthen those within the party supporting Rousseff's impeachment. Others believe the text does not imply a split-up with the government.
In an interview with Agência Brasil, PMDB members opposing the government mentioned the replacement of PMDB's head in the Chamber of Deputies, Leonardo Picciani, as one of the changes facing the political party. The trigger had been PMDB's list of lawmakers to take part in the special committee to analyze the president's impeachment process. Seats are coveted by government allies and politicians connected with lower house speaker Eduardo Cunha, also a member of the party, who announced a personal break-up with the presidency late in the first semester.
Dissatisfied with Picciani's appointments, congresspeople claim he failed to fulfill his commitment with the caucus to equally share PMDB's eight seats in the impeachment committee among members opposing and favoring the president's removal. Summoned at the presidential palace, Deputy Lúcio Vieira Lima, in charge of organizing the party's alternative ticket for the committee, Picciani was told he could not give in and would have to name allies only.
In the letter sent to Rousseff, Temer mentions his dissatisfaction with the matter. “At any rate, I am the president of the PMDB and you decided to ignore me by calling leader Picciani and his father for a deal with no communication made to your vice-president and head of the party.”
According to Lúcio Vieira Lima, it was the “indignation” over this incident which led to talks among PMDB members with the opposition and allies unhappy about the new ticket for the committee.
“It's not an alternative ticket. It's a ticket. [The ticket on the government's side] is being dubbed government crony and its names were not chosen by the parties, but by the presidency,” Vieira Lima declared.
In the upper house, Senate Ricardo Ferraço says the party seems to be drawing nearer Temer and further away from the government. “This venting from Michel Temer seems to be a clear sign of what I would term a departure, if not definitive, very close to definitive, of the vice-president. He reports in the text that he is only summoned to put out fire and that he has reached exhaustion.”
During an event in Rio de Janeiro, Health Minister Marcelo Castro, also a member of the PMDB, argued that the content of the letter is of “personal nature” and should not represent a break-up with the government.
In Castro's view, there are no reasons for the PMDB to reconsider its ties with the PT. “The PMDB takes part in the government, plays an important role in the government, in the implementation of policies, and I don't see any new, relevant fact which could make it necessary for the PMDB to deliberate and change its position,” he declared.
He went on to say that he feels perfectly comfortable to remain chief of Health. “I've received all the support from the federal government and President [Rousseff] and I feel rather comfortable. This is how we're going to keep leading the Ministry of Health.”
Translated by Fabrício Ferreira
Fonte: Agência Brasil.