Brazilians protest against President Dilma Rousseff’s decision to appoint former President Lula chief of staff. Lula has joined the government as Minister of the Civil House, so as to escape the judges who are leading a judicial investigation on political corruption and who have asked his arrest in an investigation on the bribes the oil giant Petrobras paid to his party, PT. The Brazilian public persecutor has accused former President and union trader of “concealment of assets” and of having received two houses as a “gift” from Petrobras in exchange for favors.
Meanwhile, the magistrate in charge of leading the investigation has released a taped conversation in which Rousseff tells Lula that he is going appoint him chief of staff and advises him to “use it only when necessary.” In fact, Lula will gain special immunity once he enters the government. The revelation of the phone-call between the two politicians – legally registered a few hours before Lula was appointment chief of staff – is unleashing a true political earthquake.
After the tape had been divulged, protests spread throughout Brazil: thousands of people demonstrated in front of the presidency in Brazil on Wednesday night, asking Lula’s arrest. During the night, a spontaneous manifestation erupted also in the economic capital of the country, Sao Paulo. On the political front, the Republican Party has announced that it will leave the ruling alliance, the “lower house” has already announced that it will resume the examination of a possible impeachment against Rousseff, whereas the opposition has been demanding his resignation.
The Presidency has ensured that it will take “all the necessary judicial and administrative measures” against the magistrate responsible for the disclosure. The tape had been authorized by the judge Sergio Moro who is in charge of the investigation. Moro, in his turn, has explained that he had removed secrecy from the phone interception because he considered it of “public interest”.