Senator Cássio Cunha Lima, leader of the Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB) in Senate, announced this Thursday (Sep. 1) that the party backtracked and decided to apply for a writ of mandamus in the Supreme Court against the senators' decision to vote separately the impeachment of suspended President Dilma Rousseff. In the first vote, 61 senators sentenced the president to loss of her presidential mandate for crime of responsibility. In the second, they rejected the sanction of loss of political rights for the following eight years, allowing Rousseff to hold a public office, including to work as manager, if applicable.
For PSDB senators, to apply the sanction of loss of political rights is part of the impeachment sentence. However, according to Cunha Lima, at first, the PSDB, the Democrats Party (DEM), and the Socialist Popular Party (PPS) considered that, when Rousseff was permanently removed from office, the greatest victory had been scored and felt no need for questioning the maintenance of former president's political rights.
The PSDB senators changed their minds due to the Workers' Party's decision to appeal to Supreme Court (STF) asking for the annulment of the entire trial. For Cunha Lima, it became necessary to question the second vote so that the court can examine separately the sanction of political rights without risking to annul the entire trial.
Cunha Lima has also not hidden the PSDB discomfort to the initiative of Senate President Renan Calheiros, who is member of the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB), the same party of President Michel Temer, for the maintenance of Rousseff's political rights. For him, "it was clear" that an agreement was secretly negotiated and PSDB senators were not aware of it.
In Cunha Lima's opinion, by doing this, Calheiros biased the trial. However, he thinks that one cannot "assign [the responsibility for] this action to the government, but only to Senator Renan Calheiros himself."
Cunha Lima expects that, when returning from China, President Michel Temer discusses the matter with his party's colleagues and other coalition parties.
Translated by Amarílis Anchieta
Fonte: Parties to appeal to STF against maintenance of Rousseff's political rights