The president of the Chamber of Deputies, Deputy Arthur Lira (PP-AL), postponed the vote on the Proposed Amendment to the Constitution 5/21 (PEC), which changes the composition of the National Council of the Public Ministry (CNMP). Without consensus, the proposal has been the target of criticism among prosecutors.
“This presidency informs that we would, today, finish the discussion of the matter and we would schedule voting for Tuesday, a more adequate day, with a more complete plenary to facilitate the discussion and make it more democratic”, announced Lira. “I don’t think it’s necessary to do this debate right now in this way. But if you need to, we will do it to clarify. There is no article in this PEC that steals, takes away, defiles, mixes up any functional act of the Public Ministry”, added the deputy.
According to the text of the rapporteur, Deputy Paulo Magalhães (PSD-BA), the composition of the National Council of the Public Ministry will increase from 14 to 17 members, five of which will be nominated or elected by the Legislative Power. Currently, there are only two nominees.
The PEC also changes the appointment of the national inspector of the Public Ministry, who will be the vice-president of the CNMP.
The proposal also determines that a code of ethics is drawn up within 120 days after the enactment of the PEC. If this deadline is not met, Congress will be responsible for drafting an ordinary law.
The text provides for the inclusion, among the prohibitions imposed on members of the Public Ministry, of interference in the political order and in constitutional institutions with an exclusively political purpose.
In the administrative-disciplinary scope, the proposal includes the attribution of competence to the CNMP to remove administrative acts that constitute violations of the members’ functional duty after due investigation in disciplinary proceedings, preserving functional independence and ensuring judicial review.
For Magalhães, the measure will allow the integration “harmoniously to the system of checks and balances”, in addition to increasing the democratic legitimacy of the CNMP.
“It is worth remembering that the Public Prosecutor’s Office does not constitute a State Power, and, therefore, does not properly integrate the intricate mechanism of checks and balances between Legislative, Executive and Judiciary, which is a tradition in our constitutional history”, justified the rapporteur.
By means of a statement, the National Association of Attorneys of the Republic (ANPR) and the National Association of Attorneys and Labor Attorneys (ANPT) fully opposed the proposal and asked for the matter to be rejected. Among the criticisms is the accelerated processing of the proposal and the assessment that “the text presented violates the institutional autonomy of the Public Ministry and the functional independence of its members”.
“Initially, we emphasize that there is no reason for the topic to be analyzed in a rushed way. We understand that the proposal should be discussed in a calm way, with debates that have ample participation of society, as it is the main interested in the proper functioning of the Public Ministry. The constant changes to the text in a few days, without any prior debate, hinder this participation and have not contributed to a deep and plural reflection on an institution so essential to Brazilian democracy”, states the note.
When negotiating with the category, the rapporteur of the proposal, deputy Paulo Magalhães, even removed excerpts such as the prescription of administrative disciplinary acts. Initially, it was foreseen that there would be no prescription of investigation or disciplinary proceedings brought against a member of the Public Ministry. It was also removed from the exclusion of the provision that concentrated powers in the hands of the attorneys general in the superior councils of the MPs.
Despite the changes, the final proposal was not well received by the prosecutors. For the category, there was, for example, the observance of the constitutional symmetry of the CNMP with the National Council of Justice (CNJ), by establishing a break in the proportionality of members of the two collegiate bodies. For members of the MP, there is an increase in political interference in the body.
“Despite the problems in processing the PEC, we will not fail to dialogue with the Chamber of Deputies and seek to build consensus. The current proposal, however, rules out any possibility of convergence, as it continues to violate the institutional design of the CNMP and the Public Ministry itself”, argue the associations.
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