The President of the TSE (Supreme Electoral Court), Minister Alexandre de Moraes, has decided to prohibit the Federal Police and the CADE (Administrative Council for Economic Defense) from investigating the activities of research institutes.
In an order signed this Thursday (13), Moraes stated that there was no good cause and that the authorities were “absolutely incompetent” to carry out this type of investigation during an election period.
He also determined that the Electoral Department of Internal Affairs and the Electoral Prosecutor’s Office were investigating “possible abuse of political power, expressed in the misuse of administrative bodies with the intent to support a certain candidate, in addition to the crime of abuse of power.”
The investigations against research institutes are part of an allied offensive launched by President Jair Bolsonaro (PL) after the first round.
The goal, according to the fans, is to find out the differences recorded in the polls of institutions and the results obtained during the polls.
This Thursday, Alexandre Cordeiro, President of CADE, sent a letter to the Supervisory General of the body that determines the start of an investigation against research institutes.
Cordeiro, who is linked to Bolsonaro’s civil chamber minister Ciro Nogueira, claims the institutions may have acted like a cartel to “manipulate” the elections.
The official letter was received, however, as a normal submission, since, in the opinion of the CADE technical experts, the chairman of the body does not have the authority to impose an investigation.
On the other hand, this Thursday the Federal Police also launched an investigation into the activities of the election research institutes.
The investigation was requested by Justice Minister Bolsonaro Anderson Torres.
“This request matches the representation received in MJSP. [Ministério da Justiça e Segurança Pública]which pointed to “behavior that theoretically characterizes the practice of crimes committed” by some institutions,” Torres said on his social networks, announcing a few days after the election that he had sent a request for an investigation to the PF.
In addition to the investigations, congressional allies are working to approve a project that in practice criminalizes voter polls and gathers signatures to create the CPI (Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry).
Alexandre de Moraes said in an official letter that the Department of Justice and the CADE presidency would usurp the powers of the electoral justice. He also saw the intention of the two bodies to “satisfy the electoral will expressed by the chief executive.” [Bolsonaro]”.
“Both definitions – MJ and Cade – are based solely on assumptions related to the inconsistency of the results of the polls with the characteristics of the candidates presented in the polls, without mentioning the minimum signs of the formation of a subjective connection between the appointed institutions or even the practice of illegal procedures,” Moraes wrote.
“Such hasty measures, in addition to the incompetence of the bodies that adopted them, and the blatant usurpation of the constitutional functions of electoral justice, seem to demonstrate the intention to satisfy the electoral will expressed by the Chief Executive and the candidate for re-election, and theoretically can characterize a deviation from the goal and abuse of power by insurers” .
The request requested by Cade was to study the institutes Ipec, Datafolha and Ipespe.
BUT Sheet found that initially the body’s technicians saw no materiality in Cordeiro’s submission and argued that even if there were collusion between institutions to allegedly manipulate results, the companies would not have committed an economic disruption.
Also, according to them, in the submission sent by the president of CADE, there were no elements that in practice would indicate a combination of a cartel, a division of the market with an agreement between them of clients who hired surveyors. These are the elements that justify initiating an investigation.
“Kade’s role is to defend free competition. I don’t see how polls can violate this principle. There is no violation of the economic order in the electoral polls,” said Tais Gasparyan, a lawyer Sheet.
According to her, polls and their distribution are allowed, and institutions are guided by the law when registering polls. “All these documents are publicly available. That is, there is nothing to investigate,” he said.
In a memo following the CADE president’s request for an investigation, IPEC said it regrets “this initiative against research institutions that are only fulfilling their role of measuring voter intent to vote based on scientific criteria and information collected at the time of the surveys.”
According to the institute, the fact that the surveys are the same “only demonstrates the acceptance of statistical principles and models that support research activities.”
IPEC also stated that “its professional and business conduct is based on ethical principles” and that it “categorically rejects actions based on theories that seek to confuse and incite the public to misinformation with the express purpose of destabilizing the course of research activities.”
Alexandre Cordeiro was Ciro Nogueira’s chief of staff and was Bolsonaro’s choice for the presidency of Cadé on the appointment of a minister. Ciro is one of the most influential politicians in Bolsonaro’s government. Since the end of the first round, he has advocated a boycott of research institutes.
The closeness of Ciro Nogueira and Alexandra Cordeiro was highlighted in a report in which the Federal Police indicted government minister Bolsonaro on suspicion of corruption and money laundering in April.
The document details a conversation recorded in 2017 between Ciro and entrepreneurs Joesley Batista and Ricardo Saud, both of J&F.
In the recording, Ciro calls Cordeiro “my boy”, says that he is one of “their own” in Cade, and states that he cannot “lose that influence” in the council.
“Sane guy. My boy, he was my chief of staff, I put him there [no Cade]… And he managed to fit in there,” the minister said.