SAO PAULO (AP) – Brazil’s Senate on Tuesday launched a government study into the management of the COVID-19 epidemic, which analysts say could jeopardize the re-election of President Air Bolsonaro.
Bolsonaro has been one of the world’s leading opponents of disease control, and he has often reduced the consequences. He has encouraged the use of drugs that scientists say are useless, and critics say his policies, coupled with a strong vaccine campaign, have contributed to the deaths of the world’s second-largest COVID-19 victim.
Although the investigation is not formally criminal, it can lead to charges. That is likely to be a blow to a month of shameful accusations in the run-up to the October 2022 presidential election.
The investigation could weaken his chances against his main political rival, former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who can be re-nominated only because the Supreme Court recently overturned his two criminal convictions.
It could even hurt Bolsonaro’s chances of winning the presidency. In an interview with Valor Economico, Bolsonaro’s Social Democrat leader Gil Ilberto Casab said.
The sittings started with the regression of the president. An independent senator, Omaz Aziz, was elected chairman of one of his allies, and one of his critics, Senator Renan Calehiros, was appointed rapporteur for the commission. to report հրավիր to call witnesses.
Following the ruling, Caleiros said he planned to testify to all four health ministers who served under Bolsonaro.
“The country has a right to know who contributed to the deaths of thousands of people; they should be punished immediately with an exemplary egg,” he said. But he insisted that no one would be prejudiced or unjustly targeted.
Bolsonaro has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, instead blaming governors and mayors, saying that restrictions on their activities have caused more problems than the virus itself.
He has often downplayed the recommendations of health professionals, and has had four different health ministers since taking office in 2019. Although the nation’s epidemic problems have tarnished its popularity rating, about a third of Brazilians still support it, according to recent polls.
“I do not think this poll is sufficient for impeachment, as it will depend on other factors, but it does increase that possibility,” said Beatrice Ray, a political scientist based in Brazil at the American University in Washington. “This investigation will not hold anyone criminally liable. it is for the Prosecutor General. But the negative impact will be strong every day. “
The commission of inquiry has the power to interrogate the documents; to force witnesses to testify; it may present its findings to the police or other bodies competent to prosecute illegal acts.
The UOL news website reported on Sunday that the internal government document provides for 23 possible lines of inquiry, including the negligence of obtaining vaccines and the politicization of the epidemic. Opposition Sen. Randolph Rodriguez, a member of the commission, said on Twitter that the 23 charges were just the beginning.
“This is a spoiling way for the government. There is so much more to add. “Apparently, it is easier for them to plan their defense than to protect people’s lives,” Rodriguez said on Monday.
Bolsonaro can count on the support of four of the 11 senators on the commission of inquiry. And at least two of the president’s allies have been summoned to testify: former Health Minister General Eduardo Pazuello and former communications secretary Fabio Weingarte.
In an interview with Veja News this week, Weingarten fired Bolsonaro for vaccine shortages, accusing Health Ministry officials of failing to sign a deal to buy the 70 million-dose Pfizer vaccine.
Senator Eduardo Firano, one of the allies of the chairman of the commission, said on Twitter on Monday that the investigation should be balanced, it should evaluate the work of mayors and governors. He said Congress should prioritize items such as tax reform and administrative reform to help the country recover from the pandemic.
It is almost certain that Brazil will be the main cause of 400,000 deaths from COVID-19 this week, behind only the United States. The people of South America recorded more viral deaths in the first four months of 2021 than in the whole of last year, although the number of daily deaths has dropped slightly over the past two weeks.