You are currently viewing Cassed, Witzel uses CPI platform to settle accounts with Bolsonaro

Former governor fomented war of nerves and brought up key issues for the president’s base in Rio, important for the 2022 elections

For Márcio de Freitas*

The Parliamentary Inquiry Commission of the Pandemic summoned the former governor of Rio de Janeiro Wilson Witzel to testify about irregularities in the fight against covid-19. And he did it this Wednesday even after getting authorization from the Supreme Court not to appear, as he is being investigated. Witzel was impeached after allegations of diversion of resources during actions to help the population of Rio de Janeiro.

With eminently political speeches, the former governor took advantage of the national platform to try to make a reckoning with President Jair Bolsonaro, whom he blamed for his downfall. He said he was wronged, but did not present documents proving the theses he held before the senators – and asked for a secret session. He was strongly questioned by senator Flávio Bolsonaro, who raised the tone to oppose and defend his father’s government.

The war of nerves serves the opposition to further the terrain of conspiracy theories and spread content of uncertain evidence to the audience. Much of what was said on Wednesday cannot even be investigated by the CPI. It’s the typical provocative audience.

The political intention maintains a certain tension in the air and forces the mobilization of the governing base to set up a line of defense, not least because Witzel governed Rio after being elected on a ticket with senator Flávio, in the Bolsonaro wave.

It should be noted that Rio de Janeiro is fundamental to the 2022 electoral project. Bringing the issues of the president’s base up to the table at the CPI works as an attrition element for the opposition to use against Bolsonaro, with future electoral gains.

After provoking, Witzel used the Supreme Court’s license to withdraw in the middle of the deposition. It was halved, like his term as governor.

*Márcio de Freitas is a political analyst at FSB Comunicação

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