The bad repercussion, the risk of electoral damage and the increase in tension with the Judiciary were the reasons that made President Jair Bolsonaro (PL) back away from the possibility of increasing the number of STF (Supreme Federal Court) ministers.
He went back on the subject during an interview yesterday in Pelotas (RS). “You’re the ones who invented this,” he told reporters. The statement contradicts what Bolsonaro said on the YouTube channel “Pilhado” on Sunday (9). At the time, the president stated that he would deal with the matter after the election.
Bolsonaro against the campaign. The president tries to get away from the speech that he is studying increasing the number of STF ministers from 11 to 16 because the proposal leads to a loss of votes. Part of the electorate does not agree with statements that cause friction with other powers.
The statement even goes against the diagnosis of Bolsonaro’s team, which believes that nods to the center are necessary to increase the candidate’s vote. In addition, the candidate spent the last three days suffering criticism from jurists and the press because of the proposal. He was even compared by businessman João Amoêdo (Novo) to Hugo Chávez, the dead dictator of Venezuela and a figure that the candidate so much criticizes.
Situations of this nature collaborate to keep the president’s rejection close to 50%, which complicates any chance of victory. In the Ipec poll released on Monday (10), the candidate appeared with 48% rejection.
How to justify the retreat? Bolsonaro has a speech ready to explain his change in relation to the number of STF ministers. He will say that the matter was never part of the federal government’s agenda. He will add that the proposal is not included in his government’s plan for an eventual second term.
In addition to these easily proven arguments, the president will say that no discussion in this regard is held within his campaign. If Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT) uses the theme to attack in the debate of the UOL scheduled for Sunday (16), Bolsonaro will repeat the arguments mentioned above, will say that dictatorship is a left-wing thing and will quote Daniel Ortega, dictator in Nicaragua, and Fidel Castro, dead dictator of Cuba.
These arguments will be mentioned by Bolsonaro even though he knows that among his supporters, including parliamentarians elected this year, there are people who defend measures against the STF.
Avoiding increasing tension with the Judiciary. Another consequence of suggesting the possibility of increasing the number of STF ministers is the reaction of the Judiciary. In an interview on Friday of last week (7), Bolsonaro admitted that the proposal would not make the Court happy.
Former member of the STF, retired minister Celso de Mello released a note in which he classified the proposal as “perverse” and added that it has no legal basis. “Underlying this modification is, in fact, a perverse and unconstitutional purpose of controlling the STF”.
Retired minister Marco Aurélio Mello linked the possibility to “nostalgia” for the dictatorship. It should be noted that this criticism came from a Bolsonaro voter. In an interview with UOL in August, he declared that he would vote for the president’s re-election.
This retreat from a proposal that displeases the Judiciary contrasts with another statement by Bolsonaro that, also in Pelotas, once again put the electronic voting machines in doubt.
“On the 30th [data do segundo turno], in yellow green, we are going to vote and we are going to remain in the polling station region until the results are counted. I’m sure the result will be the one we all hope for, not least because the other side can’t bring anyone together. We are all suspicious. How can that guy have so many votes if the people aren’t on his side.”