Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s national address today was not well received by the respective leaders of the PFL and the PSDB in the Senate, Agripino Maia and Arthur VirgÀlio Neto, nor by Senator Cristovam Buarque from the President’s Workers Party (PT-Federal District).
They watched the address together in an area known as the cafezinho (small cup of coffee), close to the Congressional plenary auditorium.
Buarque categorized the address as “frustrating.” In his opinion, in view of the proportions of the political crisis, President Lula should not have limited his remarks to the declaration that he had been betrayed by companions from the PT and the Administration and was as angry as the rest of the population.
“The people have the right to be indignant, not the President. It is the duty of the President of the Republic to convert his indignation into a firm stand against corruption. By not proposing a course of action, he blew his credibility,” affirmed Lula’s former Minister of Education.
For Agripino Maia, the President’s address “was not convincing.” He thinks that it is time to advance the investigations into the use of undeclared campaign funds and the alleged payment of monthly allowances to legislators from parties that belong to the Administration’s coalition base.
“If the evidence uncovers practices that constitute electoral crimes or any type of crime for which the penalty is impeachment, we shall not hesitate to follow that route,” the PFL leader affirmed.
Arthur Virgílio Neto said that President Lula “gave a false accounting that was inappropriate.” He went on to comment that it was “an ordinary speech that failed to identify the corrupt elements.” Virgílio Neto also remarked that the President spoke of political reform as if it were the solution to the crisis.
The president of the Economic Affairs Commission (CAE), Luis Otávio (PMDB-Pará), who also watched the presidential address in the cafezinho are was the only one to come out in Lula’s defense.
“Even without a mandate to speak on behalf of the Administration’s supporters, I shall defend President Lula on the Congressional floor,” the lawmaker argued. “I am a country boy from Pará and will go all the way in defense of the government of which I am a part. I shall not shirk this challenge,” the president of the CAE added.