Ousting Bolsonaro can only take place through the constitutional path: impeachment

However, the impeachment process itself faces challenges beyond constitutionality: popular support

Translated by: Ítalo Piva

Brasil de Fato | São Paulo |
The Movement of Painted Faces was instrumental in bringing down the Fernando Collor de Mello government - WikiCommons

Impeachment is not merely a political or legal decision. First of all, it’s created by a powerful social movement, reaching all segments of national opinion. Basically, it is a reaction of the people’s sovereignty, when betrayed by criminal negligence.

In 1992, when Ibsen Pinheiro led the impeachment of Fernando Collor de Mello, society's opinion was already cemented. In that instance, the constitutionality of the proceedings were debatable, but the president no longer governed, instead he just waited for the consummation of his congressional rite.

Dilma Rousseff's case illustrates the process even better. The head of State was impeached without being liable for any crimes. Congress folded to the successful coup campaign aimed at condemning the left. Rousseff's mandate would have been preserved had she not been deprived of support from the masses.

Legitimizing the movement

Impeachment is made possible in the streets, begins at the House of Representatives and ends with the Senate trial. Between the start and end points, there is a crossroads along the way: the movement creates its own legitimacy.

Today, the impeachment rallying cry of "Bolsonaro Out", is a catchphrase for a growing social indisposition. Crimes of negligence are piling up, but what counts is the fact that considerable sections of society repudiate the genocidal government and do not consent to its continuity.

Supporters are in the minority

A decreasing minority group supports Bolsonaro based on unreasonable beliefs, promoted by obscurantist activism, predisposed to deny reality. Mobilized by the apostle of chaos, this posse works in favor of a bloody confrontation. Some have the civil war dreamed up by the president in their horizon. Supported by armed men, the genocidal man does not hesitate to sabotage ties of national unity.

Most Brazilians live in restlessness, fear and demobilizing uncertainty. They fear the plague and suffer the pain of irreparable losses; the cry of revolt is suffocated by tears. The poorest cannot escape hunger. Dejected and astray, fathers and mothers lose hope of finding work. Small and medium-sized entrepreneurs experience the dread of closing their businesses. Public servants helplessly experience threats of wage cuts.

Society plunges into paralyzing hopelessness while very few have benefited from the state's policy of dismantlement. Civil rights and environmental protections are tredding the country's path with apprehension. They know that popular fury has its price. They observe social propensities trifled by measuring the president's expiration date.

Some are reluctant to remove him based on amoral reasoning: "Let the government bleed so that it is more easily defeated!" This disgusting way of thinking shows contempt for the life of Brazilians. It is criminal reasoning.

Others believe that impeachment would be the embodiment of diabolical military planning: the president's debacles and silliness would have the effect of causing chaos, and then order would be restored by the army. Once more, soldiers would save the country. This possibility deserves consideration.

The day after impeachment

It is necessary to think about impeachment by imagining both the process itself and what would follow, notably because the constitutional substitute for the president is not to be trusted. The current congressman would not reproduce the crude and appalling attitudes of the incumbent, but would endorse, like his faithful colleagues in uniform, the government’s overall stance. Strictly speaking, they constitute the government itself.

Ousting Bolsonaro would be inconsequential if it did not lead to changes in the government. It is not enough to send Bolsonaro home or to jail. It is best to defeat the forces that support him politically, among them, the military that subverts order, and acts as political player to the detriment of their institutional functions.

In replacing Bolsonaro, vice-president Mourão will have to respect the structures of a society mobilized for the defense of life and the State itself. Military barracks will have to fold to the will of the people.

Impeachment must mean the end of military tutelage and the establishment of an agreement between political forces, that guarantees governance under a basic emergency program. Otherwise, the ruinous situation in Brazil will be aggravated.

During the impeachment process, the direction the country should head in will be established and imposed. Multiple demands will be made explicit. There will be structural confrontations, however, no longer reserved for a small number of party leaders and the wealthy.

The impeachment plea will be the magnet that unites the varied aspirations of our society. Today, opposing impeachment is betting on paralysis and chaos. To defend it is to fight for democratic order, for national dignity, for the defense of society and for the resumption of development. Without impeachment, we will sink into disorder and arbitrariness.

Edited by: Camila Maciel