Politics is made of gestures and messages, more than frank and direct conversations. The last meeting of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT) with the President of the Chamber, Arthur Lira (PP-AL), served more to frame gestures and messages from both sides than for a frank and direct conversation.
After dinner this Wednesday (9) with Lula, at the home of the Minister of Communication, Paulo Pimenta, Artur Lira told allies that he believes he has reached an agreement with the President of the Republic and, with that, managed to “frame the government” . According to him, the deputies will now have more chances of the demands of the deputies to the Planalto Palace and the ministries being met.
Lira only asked for “time” to confirm that her assessment is correct. In other words, whether the government will actually live up to her expectations.
At dinner, which was actually a barbecue (Paulo Pimenta is from Rio Grande do Sul), Lula and Arthur Lira treated each other with great respect. They produced a gesture of approximation capable of promoting other encounters that were perhaps more frank and direct than this one. But both signaled that they understood each other and that they are ready to meet the wishes of both parties.
The messages were passed beforehand on behalf of intermediaries: the leaders of the PT and the government in the Chamber, in addition to the Ministers of Political Articulation, Rui Costa (Casa Civil), and Alexandre Padilha (Institutional Relations).
Lula already knew what Arthur Lira wanted and what problems he would have if he did not comply. When it comes to problems, the message was given publicly.
Lira said on Monday (6th), at a meeting with businessmen, that the government does not have enough deputies to approve Constitutional Amendment Proposals (PECs), nor Provisional Measures (MPs).
The president of the Chamber went to dinner already knowing from the leaders of the PT and the government in the Chamber that he tends to be served by the Chief Executive. After all, the government will need to approve MPs and PECs for a new fiscal adjustment and set the economy right.
But what does the mayor want to give the Planalto in return?
His main message is that he wants to centralize the demands of the ruling base in the Chamber, especially those of the centrão — which he commands — as well as information on meeting these demands.
That is, Lira wants to maintain a power similar to the one she held in the Jair Bolsonaro government.
Lula, in turn, had already responded through his interlocutors that he will not be able to give as much space as Bolsonaro did, but that he will meet this request “as much as possible”.
After all, the Federal Supreme Court did away with the secrecy formula in authoring the so-called RP-9 amendments to the Budget, which earned them the nickname “Secret Budget”.
Without the RP-9, there is no way to give back to the mayor the same power as before. But there is a way to seek “negotiated formulas” for the distribution of amounts previously allocated to the Secret Budget that pass through Lira and the Planalto.
Lula only asked Lira to enter into an agreement with the president of the Senate on the processing of MPs and PECs so that there is no conflict between the two Houses in projects of interest to the government.
Arthur Lira has been trying to establish a rite that gives the House the final word on the projects, while Rodrigo Pacheco wants the final word to be given to the senators. The two are expected to meet next week.
Another point that is also agreed upon is that the PT, especially the party’s president, Deputy Gleisi Hoffmann (PR), will avoid making public criticisms of the other allied parties.
Lira argues that the PT’s public criticism of the União Brasil “generates sharp edges” between the centrão and the main government party. And that this will interfere with the approval of matters that the government considers important.
There’s that story that Lula always makes use of, that he can’t control the PT. But he made it clear that he would work to avoid a belligerent stance from the party leadership. He used as an example the performance of PT leaders in the Chamber, “all of whom are in tune” with Arthur Lira.
Anyway, the dinner only served to seal what had already been discussed and agreed by the PT leaders and ministers of political articulation present at the meeting.
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