Preparations are underway for the election of a new president of the Chamber of Deputies (Speaker of the House) in Brazil. The acting president, the former first vice president, José Thomaz Nonô from the PFL party of Alagoas state, has convoked a meeting today to discuss the details of the election.
According to the Chamber’s internal rules, the election could take place as soon as next week.
The Lower House leadership decided that the election will be held next Wednesday, September 28, at 10 AM. Those interested in filling that post can register their names until Tuesday, September 27, at 6 PM.
At least seven congressmen are interested in the position. They are: Beto Albuquerque (PSB, Rio Grande do Sul), the government leader, Arlindo Chinaglia (PT, São Paulo), José Thomaz Nonô (PFL, Alagoas), João Caldas (PL, Alagoas), Luiz Antonio Fleury (PTB São Paulo), Michel Temer (PMDB, São Paulo), Francisco Dornelles (PP. Rio de Janeiro).
The Brazilian Chamber of Deputies has 513 members. In order to be elected president a simple majority of 257 votes are needed. If no one gets a simple majority, the two candidates with the most votes face each other in a runoff election. The voting is secret.
Last week, the leadership of the Chamber of Deputies decided to grant a period of five sessions for the Disciplinary Board of the Chamber to hear the testimony of the 16 deputies named in the combined report of the Joint Parliamentary Investigative Commissions (CPMIs) on the Post Office and Vote Buying.
As a result, the processes to revoke the deputies’ mandates are temporarily suspended, and the motions will only be forwarded to the Ethics Council after the lawmakers have been heard by the Disciplinary Board.
The decision was taken by the full membership of the Executive Board, after analyzing the terms of the injunction conceded by the president of the Federal Supreme Court, Minister Nelson Jobim, to six deputies from the PT and the injunction conceded by minister Carlos Veloso to deputy José Dirceu, Lula’s former chief of staff.
With this decision, it will be up to Ciro Nogueira, second vice-president and disciplinary officer of the Chamber, to hear the testimony of the 16 legislators and submit an opinion to the Executive Board, before the motions are sent to the Ethics Council.
The deputies have been notified that they have five sessions to testify before the Disciplinary Board, or, if the disciplinary officer deems it appropriate, before an investigatory commission.