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Bolsonaro says he is ‘upset’ with criticism from Celso de Mello: ‘It went personally’

In an interview published on Saturday , 3, the minister stated – commenting on the STF’s decision to maintain the demarcation of indigenous lands with Funai – that the president “dangerously minimizes the importance of the Constitution” and “degrades the authority of the Brazilian Parliament”, by reissuing the passage of an interim measure that was rejected by Congress in the same year.

“I was wrong in the matter of MP. He was an advisor who did, but the responsibility is mine. I’m upset because he (Mello) went personally,” he told reporters, leaving the Dawn Palace to participate in an evangelical worship in Brasilia.

Bolsonaro took the opportunity to pin Mello’s decision in the case in which the STF began to consider homophobia as a crime . “I think this kind of decision is up to Congress,” he repeated. “But I have to be quiet. I can’t criticize decision of one Power or another, I have to respect the Powers,” he added. 

Separation of Powers

Later, during the 25-year celebration of the Fountain of Life Apostolic Church, Bolsonaro said fights between the powers of the Republic have only one loser: the population. He said he was working for the country, as were Mayors Rodrigo Maia (DEM-RJ), Senate David Alcolumbre (DEM-AP), and Supreme Court (STF) Dias Toffoli.

“We all have accusations, some or so, but we have a responsibility to move Brazil forward. I will not criticize the legislature and the judiciary, and I hope they will not criticize me either, ”he said in a speech during an evangelical service in Brasilia. “I don’t work thinking about 2022. This will be a consequence if we work well,” he added.

He was moved and even cried during the service when Pastor Apostle Cesar Augusto recalled visiting the president at the hospital after his attack during the election campaign last year.

 To the church audience, Bolsonaro said the Union Advocate General (AGU) “is pastor and terribly evangelical.” The president has repeatedly stated that he intends to appoint a “terribly” evangelical minister to the Federal Supreme Court. “I am terribly Christian,” he added, to the applause of the public.

 Bolsonaro also recalled that his first official trip this year was to Israel and pointed out that Brazil’s Jerusalem business office would be almost completed.

Nepotism

The president again defended, on Sunday, 4, the nomination of his son, deputy Eduardo Bolsonaro (PSL-SP), as ambassador to the United States. The president called criticism that the nomination would be nepotism “hypocrisy”, but  admitted that the Senate could bar  Eduardo’s nomination.

“Yes, the Senate can bar yes. But imagine that the next day I dismiss  (Foreign Minister) Ernesto Araújo  and put my son. He will not be ambassador, he will command 200 ambassadors and aggregates around the world. Someone will take my son there? Hypocrisy of yours, “he told reporters as he left Alvorada Palace to participate in an evangelical service in Brasilia.

Asked if he really intends to appoint Eduardo Minister in case of disapproval of his name as ambassador, Bolsonaro said he does not work with this hypothesis. “I will not do that”. 

Bolsonaro also criticized the Supreme Court (STF) ruling  that prohibited nepotism  in the public administration. “The Supreme Court has ruled on nepotism and on typifying homophobia as racism. I think it is the legislature that has to decide on these things. It had a parliamentarian against nepotism who  was caught in the Lava Jato . It has nothing to do with relatives.”

The president said he assumed that nominating a child elected to office would not be nepotism. “There are certain ministers who have relatives employed, with DAS (commissioned function) , so what?” “What a craze that anything related to a politician is no good. I have a son who is about to go to the United States and  was praised  by US President Donald Trump. You massacred my son: a hamburger fryer,” he added.  

The president also countered an article in the newspaper  O Globo,  which counted the hiring of 102 relatives among themselves as advisors in their offices and their children’s offices, from that 1989. 

“I don’t have 102 relatives, there’s a blatant lie there. I’ve had relatives in my office in the past before nepotism was a crime,” he said, noting that the first lady, Michele Bolsonaro, worked in her office before the relationship. 

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