BRASÍLIA (Reuters) – Vice President Hamilton Mourão rejected Wednesday morning that there was a shakeup in the anti-corruption speech of the Jair Bolsonaro government after recent allegations of suspected irregularities in negotiations for the purchase of vaccines against Covid- 19, stressing that he does not see the climate for the advancement of an impeachment process for the head of the Executive.
“No, I don’t think so,” he said of a possible shakeup in the anti-corruption speech.
“What happens? Yesterday the president said something that is certain, he is not in a position to control everything that is happening within the government. This is a reality. So, it is up to each minister to control his fief. And, if something is detected that is irregular, that measures are taken in accordance with the law, I think this is normal to happen”, he said.
The vice president downplayed the so-called “super-request” for impeachment against Bolsonaro that will be presented this afternoon by the opposition, which will be reinforced with suspicions regarding government purchases of immunization agents to face the pandemic.
“I think there is no room to prosper a request for impeachment. Yesterday, even the minister (of the STF) Gilmar Mendes touched on this subject in the lecture he gave. We are a year and a half away from the elections, so we are going to let the process continue and get to October of next year and see what happens”, he highlighted.
The day before, Mendes had said that he was becoming the instrument of impeachment.
Asked about new accusations involving the acquisition of vaccines and suspicions of corruption, Mourão –who has been sidelined from the main government decisions by Bolsonaro– said that this is a report and that as he only knows about the matter through the press, he has no way of evaluating it.
“It’s that story, there may have been the fact there. The reality is the following: there is the CGU, it has to monitor this issue of contracts, I believe it keeps an eye, not contracts for 50, 60 million, but large contracts, it has to be on top,” he said.
The vice president also avoided answering whether the leader of the government in the Chamber, Ricardo Barros (PP-AL), would step down from office. In testimony by deputy Luís Miranda (DEM-DF) to the CPI of Covid in the Senate, the congressman said that in a conversation with Bolsonaro in March, the president would have mentioned the name of the leader related to suspected irregularities in the purchase of the Covaxin vaccine.
“This is a question for the president, you have to see if this is true, to what extent what was said by the complainant on Friday by the CPI actually occurred. There’s still a lot to roll”, he highlighted.
Asked what action he would take if he were president, Mourão replied that “hypothetically” he would forward the suspicions to the Ministry of Health to take action.
This is what the Bolsonaro government said it did after the warning from Luís Miranda and his brother, the Ministry of Health server Luís Ricardo Miranda.
Opposition senators, however, filed a request with the Supreme Court to investigate the president for a possible crime of malfeasance.
(Reporting by Ricardo Brito)
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