Tuesday, June 28, 2005
The ruling Workers’ Party has not succeeded in its defense against the accusations. The Brazilian deputy Roberto Jefferson said that the ruling party bought the support of some Brazilian deputies, paying 30 thousand Brazilian Reals (US$ 12 thousand) each, every month. Although Jefferson said that he had no proof of this, he gave a very detailed description of the alleged corruption scheme.
The testimonies of other witnesses and the investigation that is being made by police gave support for some of the Jefferson’s claims. Independent investigation being made by newspapers and magazines, and the publication of documents and other evidences, expose the government and Workers’ Party more and more.
Popular support for the President is deteriorating. Except for the Workers’ Party and the Communist Party of Brazil (PCdoB) which are part of the government, there is not another political party in Brazil denying the accusations. All newspapers and magazines publish stories every day related to the scandal. The Workers’ Party itself is divided: some members believe that the accusations are true and that something went wrong, others prefer to deny the evidences and they argue that the party is innocent.
A great part of the work of the Brazilian parliamentarians is related to the investigation of the scandals. Besides the Votes-for-cash scandal dennounced by Jefferson, there are the Bingo’s scandal, the Post Office scandal and the Brazilian Reinsurance Institute (IRB) scandal. All of these scandals are being submited to investigation by Brazilian parliamentarians.
One important question is whether President Lula knew about the alleged scandals in his government or not. If he knew and he did nothing he was conniving or he participated, it is the worst. If he didn’t know, someone can say that he was very incompetent because he didn’t see something so big under his nose.
Today, the authority and the efficiency of the President is being questioned. Some people say that it was the former Minister José Dirceu who actually took great part of the decisions in Lula’s government. The politicians say that President Lula must take control of his government, that he should do a major reform of his government and that he should get away from the people who are involved in the scandals.
Besides the corruption dennounciations, the government of President Lula is being criticized by his weak social agenda. The programme called “Zero Hunger” has showed little results and many people accuse it of being just a marketing strategy.
The management of the economy has being praised by some analysts. However, critics, even inside the government like the Vice-President José Alencar have already criticized it, because of the high interest rates. There is not severe inflation, but unemployment is high, and salaries are low.
The next days or the next month may be decisive to the future of Lula. He must show that he is not involved in the corruption scandals, he must reform the government and he must prove that he is competent. The positive factor are that the Brazilian economy is not seriously contaminated by the political crisis until now, the population is perplexed but calm and the politicians are not envolving the President in the denunciations, although they demand the investigation of all corruption allegations. However, nobody knows how much this situation will remain or if it will remain until the end of the government of President Lula in 2006.