Brazil’s lower house and Senate have new leaders

Rodrigo Pacheco won in the Senate, Arthur Lira in the lower house

Published in 02/02/2021 - 13:35 By Agência Brasil - Brasília

Brazil’s Senate late on Monday afternoon (Feb. 1) elected Rodrigo Pacheco (DEM) as its 68th president. He received 57 ballots, and the second place, Simone Tebet (MDB), amassed 21. He will be the next president of the Senate and the National Congress for the next two years. The vote took approximately an hour and 15 minutes to end.

Pacheco had been chosen by Davi Alcolumbre (DEM) to succeed him in the president’s chair. His support was crucial, given his empathy among leaders from a number of parties. Alcolumbre’s closeness to President Jair Bolsonaro, pro-government parties such as PP, PSD, and Republicanos as well as opposition parties like PT and PDT, earned Pacheco a wide base of support.

Rodrigo Pacheco is a lawyer serving his first tenure as senator. He was also federal deputy from 2015 to 2018, when he chaired the lower house Constitution and Justice Commission (CCJ).

Before the vote, Pacheco highlighted his defense of the Senate’s independence from other branches. There will be no external influence, he said, in the will of senators. Pacheco also advocated “immediate vaccine” for Brazilians and government assistance for those who need it, conciliating it with the cap on public spending.

Lower house

Deputy Arthur Lira (PP) won the presidency of the Chamber of Deputies—as Brazil’s lower house is called—in the first round. He mustered 302 ballots and is now posed to lead the chamber from 2021 to 2022. Second came Deputy Baleia Rossi (MDB), with 145 ballots.

Altogether, 503 representatives cast a ballot. Eight candidates vied for the presidency of the lower house. In his first move as house speaker, Arthur Lira called off the vote for the remaining chairs at the Directing Board. The Congress member stipulated a new election to choose its members on Tuesday (Feb. 2).

A harmonic approach

In his inauguration speech, Lira requested a minute of silence as in memory of the victims of the COVID-19 pandemic. The representative stated that the pandemic should be tackled with “a harmonic approach of branches without forgoing independence” from the Legislative and the Executive.

“We are in urgent need of supporting Brazilians facing economic despair, assessing how our social protection network can be made stronger, vaccinating, vaccinating, and vaccinating the people, and seeking balance in public accounts,” he declared.

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira -  Edition: Nira Foster

Latest news