The Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB) confirmed its departure from President Dilma Rousseff's ruling coalition and this has intensified the debate around governability and the president's impeachment. For opposition leaders, the exit aggravates the political crisis and increases the chances of ousting Rousseff.
In the National Executive Meeting that lasted about five minutes, the PMDB broke off a 14-year alliance with the Workers' Party (PT). For the opposition, the decision raises expectation for the exit of other governing coalition parties.
Roberto Freire, president of the PPS, was one of the first opposition leaders to comment on the fact, and he was categorical. "This is a sign of desertion," he declared.
The opposition leader considers the PMDB's attitude a kind of code for Congress to continue the president's impeachment proceedings. "The PMDB's decision will help the country because it hastens impeachment proceedings and Brazil needs more than ever to tackle this issue," said Freire.
Cities Minister Gilberto Kassab, member of the Social Democratic Party (PSD), announced that the party will let its bench (31 deputies) decide for itself on the impeachment voting.
The Progressive Party (PP), heading the Ministry of National Integration, with Gilberto Occhi as minister, studies letting the bench decide for itfelf. However, some of the deputies are asking for a meeting to adopt a joint stance on withdrawing the governing coalition and defending impeachment proceedings.
Deputy Jerônimo Goergen collected 22 signatures for impeachment proceedings out of 49 deputies. "I realize that we have room in PP to adopt a stance for impeachment proceedings," he said.
They will decide on the possibility of a national meeting today (Mar. 30) during a meeting with Party's Chairman Senator Ciro Nogueira.
The PT leader in the Chamber of Deputies, Afonso Florence, cushioned the impact on the PMDB departure of the governing coalition. For the PT member, we need to wait for the movement of the PMDB's sectors that continue supporting the government.
"Not all the members of the PMDB were there [at the meeting], we have to wait for the political output of this departure's decision, because there are ministers and deputies who still have to express themselves," he said.
When evaluating the PMDB's departure, Lower House Speaker Eduardo Cunha, who since July last year defended breaking off the alliance with the government, said the party was carrying the burden of the alliance, without participating in the formulation of economic and other policies. "The PMDB has no reason for carrying the burden of an unpopular government, which adopts measures with which we do not agree," he said.
In Cunha's opinion, the exit of the governing coalition is not related to impeachment proceedings. "The PMDB had to leave, with or without impeachment," he reported.
Translated by Amarílis Anchieta