The fiercest power struggle in the country is not between lulistas and bolsonaristas. It takes place in Congress and has the President of the Republic as a spectator. The struggle of parliamentarians for influence, access to public coffers and electoral clout is the first item on the current political agenda.
Congressional cardinals have devoted much energy to their favorite sport: amassing strength to extract benefits from their offices and relationships.
In the Chamber, the battle takes place in the formation of party blocks, which can determine who will give the cards in the coming years. On the one hand, there is a consortium closer to the government — led by the MDB and PSD, with the support of Bolsonaristas from the Republicans. On the other, PP and União Brasil discuss an alliance, under the baton of Arthur Lira.
The game takes place less around the interests of the government and more with an eye on the formation of majorities to negotiate funds, project reports, vacancies in committees and the election of the new president of the Chamber in 2025.
The arm wrestling between deputies and senators for power in voting on provisional measures has a similar background. The groups that come out victorious hope to have more vigor to blow the whistle on important nominations and say where the budget of the ministries should flow.
Lula’s team seems to have few tools to mediate the fight. Despite keeping the parliamentary amendments business desk open, the government does not show the strength to influence the game of forces in Congress and sees itself at risk. The fiscal framework and changes in the sanitation framework are the target of threats from deputies and senators.
Parliamentarians have some comfort — and many incentives — to work first and foremost in their own interests. If the country is doing poorly, it is almost certain that the President of the Republic will be punished by the voter at the polls or by Congress itself with an impeachment process. The survival of deputies and senators, on the other hand, depends more on the propaganda and money they bring to their bases.
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