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Putin vs. Truss: Veni vide vici?



Marcelo de Almeida Medeiros, Titular Professor of Comparative International Politics at the UFPE Department of Political Science and PQ-1C Fellow at CNPq. E-mail: [email protected]

The famous phrase in the affirmative is pronounced by the general and consul Julius Caesar before the Senate of Rome, referring to his recent victory over Pharnaces II of Pontus at the Battle of Zela (47 BC). The message is seen as a warning to senators: military power wins. And if he tames external enemies, why not slaughter internal ones? Those who foment a civil war that, inside the walls, corrodes the Roman political system?

Two recent episodes deal in different ways – but not without connection – with this idea of ​​providential and energetic power once captured by the centurions: the authoritarian constancy of Vladimir Putin and the democratic fluidity of the government of Liz Trouss.

After a spasm perestroika and for volume started by Mikhail Gorbachev in the mid-1980s, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) collapsed. On its ruins, the construction of a political structure consonant with the victorious and now agreed-upon market democracy captured by the West during the Cold War, in particular by Washington and Brussels, is being encouraged. However, Moscow’s handling of this binomial – democracy/market – soon proves problematic. If, on the one hand, the break with the omnipresence of the state in the economy is relatively open, which led to Russia’s accession to the World Trade Organization in 2012; on the other hand, the reforms necessary to establish a democratic regime are carried out timidly and hesitantly, which indicates how deeply rooted political forces in authoritarianism. The fact is that ever since Boris Yeltsin stepped down from power in 1999, Vladimir Putin has promoted a government based on oligarchic foundations that does not meet Schumpeter’s criteria for minimalist democracy.[1] or even to the idea of ​​Polyarchy put forward by Dahl[2].

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The real possibility of a change of power, without a doubt, is the main asset of democracy. Long-lived governments, such as that of President François Mitterrand (age 14) in France or Chancellor Angela Merkel (age 16) in Germany, emerge with little fanfare, as they function entirely within the parameters of effective institutional control that provides a real opportunity for rotation. It may not even happen, but if it does, it is the result of democratic will. By contrast, authoritarian regimes lack this capacity for change. They tend to perpetuate themselves through repressive practices, media control, and indiscriminate use of force. In a word, such regimes hinder freedom of choice and fight any transformational movements. Thus, they rely on a police/military apparatus that can guarantee them the means of coercion necessary for their existence. In addition, they often elect external enemies to help solidify a society’s identity and showcase its strength. In other words, they go to war, as the Argentine Raul Alfonsin does in the Falklands in 1982, or as Putin is doing now with his invasion of Ukraine.

Moscow appears to have been wrong in assuming that this show of force against Kyiv would breathe new life into the regime. what should have been lightning war has been going on for several months with unexpected setbacks. Russia is suffering economically while at the same time strengthening ties between Western countries, in particular through the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). The United States and the European Union quickly and without hesitation support the troops of Volodymyr Zelensky. Putin comes, sees, but does not win. Worse, movements of flight and protest are springing up, mostly against mobilization and convocation at the order of the president, helping to undermine the despotic regime, already sick, but resisting fiercely and firmly. This crisis, however, has no democratic way to overcome it. Hypertrophy of the executive power combined with the complete absence of mechanisms checks and balances suggest three possible paths: tightening up the current despotic government, selectively purge and keep the regime under a new command, or even a popular revolutionary movement. In all three cases, violence predominates, with its vile consequences of death.

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The second episode mentioned here is deprived of a military tunic. But it does show how democratic mechanisms work to contain unrealistic outbreaks and promote a peaceful rotation. It’s Liz Truss’s lightning-fast crossing of 10 downing street. The shortest term for a prime minister in British history (less than 50 days). Despite her poignant speech, sweetened with messianic taunts, Mrs. Truss, in practice, is unable to make her government’s policies viable. That is, like Putin, he comes, sees, but also does not win. He will not win the economic battle or the Brexit challenge. In the end, his strategy is not convincing. However, unlike her Russian counterpart, she is forced to resign due to unforeseen circumstances in the British parliamentary regime.

It is a fact that democratic regimes have weaknesses. For example, in the French Third Republic (1871–1940), a new cabinet changed on average every six months.[3]. This hectic alternation undoubtedly greatly damaged the administration of Paris during this long period. However, it is the right to the possibility of change that guarantees people the search for the right political path. Therefore, it is simply necessary to treat it responsibly. Subordination imposed by force on the part of the executive, legislature or judiciary is undesirable. Equality of power is the cornerstone of the proper functioning of democracy. The yoke of a centurion, aedile or praetor threatens: I came, I saw, I conquered?


[1] SCHUMPETER, Joseph. Capitalism, socialism and democracy. New York: Harper & Row, 1942.

[2] DAL, Robert. Polyarchy: participation and opposition. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1971.

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[3] SHEARER, William. BUT Fall of France. Collapse of the Third Republic. Rio de Janeiro: Editora Record, 1969.

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Bolsonaro accepts allies for a month of lockdown – 11/29/2022 – Poder



Bolsonaro accepts allies for a month of lockdown - 11/29/2022 - Poder

A month after losing the presidential election Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (PT)the president Jair Bolsonaro (Poland) cautiously emerged from the lockdown she imposed after the poll results were announced.

According to those around him, the president is already less depressed by the defeat, but still wants to remain a recluse. Gradually, he resumed his schedule of meetings outside the Palacio da Alvorada, the official residence.

The president’s conclusion, a few public words spoken over the past month, and a coup d’état by his party, the PL, to cast doubt on the election results were ultimately seen as a veiled inducement to anti-democratic actions by supporters in front of the barracks.

During his seclusion after the defeat, Bolsonaro was engaged in pleasing the allies and discussing the future of his political group in opposition. Among them is the race for the presidency of the Senate.

All conversations were conducted behind closed doors and, for the most part, in the Alvorada Palace. Last week, he hosted the allied senators nominated as candidates for the presidency of the House of Representatives: Teresa Cristina (PP-MS), Rogerio Marinho (PL-RN), Eduardo Gomez (PL-TO) and Carlos Portinho (PL-RJ). The meeting was attended by his eldest son, Senator Flavio Bolsonaro (PL-RJ).

According to the interlocutors of the CEO, today he prefers the name nautical in dispute. The senator was his minister of regional development and is considered a man of good transit in Congress.

If he enters the race to command the Senate, Marinho will have to take on current President Rodrigo Pacheco (PSD-MG).

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According to allies, last week Bolsonaro worked to have two federal judges appointed to the STJ (Superior Court).Mesod Azoulay Neto and Paulo Sergio Dominguez were approved by the Senate.

Members of the judiciary and Lula’s allies wanted to leave the vote for the next year, but the nominations were approved by the senators.

On the other hand, Bolsonaro also appointed allies to the regulatory bodies and to the Ethics Commission under the President of the Republic.

Last week, he appointed his minister of the government secretariat and right-hand man Celio Faria to the President’s Commission on Public Ethics. Jr🇧🇷 He is one of the president’s closest aides and one of those who were with Bolsonaro the most during his seclusion in Alvorada.

Another candidate for the panel is João Enrique Nascimento de Freitas, Special Advisor to the President.

The nominations were published in an additional issue of the Official Gazette on Friday (18). Positions work with mandates – so they are integral and will be part of the collegiality for a good part of the third term of office. Lula.

In addition to them, Bolsonaro appointed Luciana Lauria López, who is the Secretariat’s Special Adviser on Strategic Affairs (SAE), Ombudsman for Antaq (National Water Transport Agency). She is also the wife of Freitas, Bolsonaro’s appointed member of the Ethics Commission.

In the same Official Gazette of November 18, Bolsonaro appointed Edgar Ribeiro Diaz as Ombudsman for Anvisa (National Health Surveillance Agency). He is the chief of staff of Celio Faria Jr.

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On the same day, the chief executive gave three more names to regulators. Everything must pass Senate review.

Since last Wednesday (23), the president has left his official residence three times.Palace of Alvorada to go to his place of work, the Planalto Palace.

In all cases, he never spent more than five hours there.

During this month after the defeat, Bolsonaro avoided speeches and public statements. He only spoke to the press once, two days after the results of the second round, when he asked supporters to unblock the roads, but said other demonstrations were welcome.

He abandoned the tradition of conducting live broadcasts, the so-called live, as he did from the beginning of his presidential term.

In social networks, Bolsonaro generally reduced his activity. In one of the rare publications, he published on Tuesday his photo over the coat of arms of the republic.

O the president this Tuesday (29) ended the month without holding motociatas – the events that marked his pre-defeat mandate Lula in the elections this year.

Bolsonaro was last at a demonstration and rode a motorcycle with supporters on October 29, Saturday, in Belo Horizonte, on the eve of the vote.

After the electoral defeat, his most radical supporters gathered outside the barracks to call for a military coup. At the same time, the LP has been used to question the legitimacy of the elections, although without pointing to any proof or evidence of fraud.

The attempt earned PL President Valdemar Costa Neto an STF (Federal Supreme Court) investigation and a fine of almost 23 million reais against the party.

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This Tuesday (29) Bolsonaro met in Planalto with the President of Firjan (Federation of Industry of the State of Rio de Janeiro) Eduardo Eugenio Vieira and with Valdemar.

In addition to the Planalto program, he and First Lady Michele Bolsonaro invited some 60 children to a Christmas cantata in Alvorada.

The event was organized by the Pátria Voluntária program coordinated by Michelle. No official photos of the meeting have been released.

Last Saturday (26) the president also traveled to the state of Rio to attend his first public event since defeat, a military ceremony in the city of Resende.

He remained silent at the event. Vice President Hamilton Murao (Republicans) was seen at the ceremony talking to Bolsonaro, but the president reacted listlessly.

“I told him there were a lot of people wanting to take pictures with him, I asked him to go there and take pictures with people, but he was a little sad,” Murao said on Tuesday of a conversation he had with Bolsonaro.

At a time of Bolsonaro’s greatest seclusion, Murao himself gave a different explanation for the president’s disappearance. Both the MP and other allies explained that Bolsonaro was recovering from a bacterial infection in his legs.

Murão also assumed the institutional role normally held by the President of the Republic. Last month, for example, he received credentials from foreign ambassadors who will work in Brazil.

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“I will contribute to the political future of my country”



"I will contribute to the political future of my country"

ISabel dos Santos, a businesswoman who has been issued an international arrest warrant by Interpol at the request of the Angolan government, claims that she, like her family, is the target of “political persecution”. In an interview with TVI/CNN, he also accuses Attorney General of Angola on “receiving an order from President João Lourenço”.

Neither party reveals where the conversation is taking place, the businesswoman uses the term justice – a form of warfare in which the law is used as a weapon to justify the charges against him in Angola. “The law is used to fight an economic or political adversary”she says, emphasizing that “you don’t want competition in politics in Angola” and placing herself in the role of Joao Lourenço’s political opponent.

Asked if she has political ambitions in her country, she opens the door for her candidacy. “I have no doubt that in one way or another I will contribute to the political future of my country”he guarantees by listing the main problems of the country, such as social issues and fertility issues.

“I believe that the political parties in power and the opposition do not look at these issues. No vision, no plan”he says, adding that he is striving for “another country.”

“When I arrived [à Sonagol] there was no money to pay wages”

Taking into account SonangolJosé Eduardo dos Santos’s daughter says that at the time the Angolan State Ministry asked one of its companies to provide advice on “the restructuring of the oil sector” and that she was “personally invited to serve as chairman of the non-executive board.” directors.” “When I arrived, there was no money to pay wages”he says, saying that the company was known to be “bankrupt”.

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“What I want today is an acknowledgment from PGR and the government that this story about no consultants being there and not getting paid is not true. And what is very annoying is that they use this very story to then issue either warrants, or restrictive maneuvers, or even arrests.”He says.

already about Luanda Leaks, says that “it was João Lourenzo’s design” and that he has proof of what he claims. “Who reads 715,000 documents? It’s impossible. And to date, no one has seen them. We saw 140 and most of them are completely harmless,” he says.

Never been asked to “invest in Portugal”

As regards the case of Portugal, he says that relations with the country have always been “through private investment” that there have never been specific requests – from the government of Portugal – “to invest in Portugal” and who doesn’t know if phone call from the coast – it happened because of her.

When asked about her connection with Russia, Isabelle dos Santos spoke about the culture and history of this country, and when asked if she was thinking about moving to Russia, Isabelle dos Santos answered only that she had a “special attachment” to this country. “This is my mother’s land. Therefore, this is a place where I have a family and which I respect a lot, with a phenomenal culture,” he said.

Regarding the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, he replied that he hoped that the conflict would be resolved. “Peace matters to everyone”he concluded.

Recall that the Attorney General of the Republic of Angola vowed on Monday that the trial against Isabel dos Santos would move forwardeven if the businesswoman does not make statements under the international arrest warrant requested by the Angolan authorities.

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Helder Pitta Gros, speaking in Luanda on the sidelines of a Board of Directors meeting, said he did not know the whereabouts of the daughter of the former President of Angola, and claims that several attempts were made to interrogate the businesswoman, who, in an interview with the German broadcaster DW and on her social networks, she always insisted on the fact that she is ready to clarify the “untruth” about her, saying that she is not interesting to listen to.

Read also: Angolan PGR promises process without hearing Isabelle dos Santos

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With PT’s imminent support for Lira, Lula launches a political operation to unblock the PEC.



Chairman of the Chamber of Deputies Artur Lira. welcomes President-elect Luiz Inácio Lulu da Silva. Photo: José Cruz/Arquivo Agência Brasil
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Returning to Brasilia, President-elect of the Republic, Luis Inacio Lula da Silvatook over the first political commands responsible for the “overall coordination” of the transition: he authorized the PT to conclude an agreement on the resumption Arthur Lyra (PP-AL) to the President of the House and invited allied parliamentarians to submit a PEC that would free up space for social spending – just like the draft presented by Vice President-elect Geraldo Alkmin, leaders of both chambers.

The text, vehemently rejected by the market, provides for a “waiver” of 175 billion reais and an additional exemption from the public investment ceiling of 22 billion reais. The term for exclusion of social programs from the budget rules remains equal to 4 years.

The idea behind the Lulista headquarters is to delegate to the Legislature the changes in values ​​and deadlines requested by the elected government, a reduction process that is most likely today among deputies and senators.

According to Lula, the two measures taken this Monday (November 28) serve to “unblock” the process, as there are concerns about the final procedure before December 15, the date when the Bolsa Família payments of 600 reais will be made from January. .

Despite practical arrangements, Lula’s return to the Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil (CCBB), headquarters of the transition group’s offices, was marked by the president-elect’s demands for assistants involved in the creation of the 31 thematic groups. Petista wants detailed reports by region and with numbers that show the severity of the problems he claims he inherited from Jair Bolsonaro.

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Lulu worries about the availability of resources to maintain basic services. According to his closest advisers, the discussion of the backbone of the PEC with Congress should take into account the problems of its management, in addition to simply guaranteeing the continuity of social programs.

The plan recommended by Lula is for working group representatives to make public presentations of the data and explain the bottlenecks of each folder, just as the health diagnostics team did. The next board to comment on the lack of resources and operational challenges in the area in January will be Education on Tuesday (11/29).

Lula told allies it was important that congressmen decide that the PEC would be fully aware of what he calls “the dramatic picture of the federal machine” in 2023. “We are not asking for much, given the cursed legacy. We ask for what is needed. And this should be clear to Congress, which has its own claims, and they are legal. The budgetary framework is the worst possible,” he tells reporters. WHOM source is aware of these negotiations.


The participation of Fernando Haddad, who accompanies Lula on his trip to the capital, in political meetings with parties not part of the winning coalition but “meeting” with the future government base, is further evidence that the president-elect is still working with the priority hypothesis. political profile for the Ministry of Finance.

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Lula’s interlocutors interpreted Haddad’s participation in Friday’s Febraban dinner as a “trap” for bankers who want to take the former Sao Paulo mayor out of the race for the treasury.

Haddad’s vague speech, which caused the stock market to crash and the dollar to rise, was deemed “relevant” by Lula precisely because it confirms what the president-elect was saying to this public in a financial system that prioritizes the economy. growth with robust social investment at the expense of fiscal austerity.

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