August 20th, 2021


1. Polls reveal approval ratings for president, offer 2022 election projections

Two polls published this week revealed a further decrease in President Jair Bolsonaro’s approval rating, as well as projections for 2022 general elections.
A poll published by XP/Ipespe shows that 54% of Brazilians consider the Bolsonaro administration to be bad or awful. In the previous poll, published in July, this option was selected by 52% of those interviewed. The results both in rejection and approval ratings are the worst for Bolsonaro since XP/Ipespe began conducting polls in January 2019. The poll also shows that former president Lula with 40% of the vote against 24% for Bolsonaro in the first round of elections, which will take place in October 2022. In case of a second round of voting, the poll indicates that Lula could receive 51% of votes with just 32% for Bolsonaro.

PoderData also published the results of an opinion poll about Brazilian citizens’ interest in impeaching Bolsonaro. According to 58% of people interviewed, the president should be impeached: an eight-percentage point increase in comparison to the previous poll conducted in July.

G1: Após bate boca e suspensões, Aziz encerra reunião e diz que Barros voltará à CPI como convocado
Folha de S. Paulo: CPI da Covid ouve Ricardo Barros
O Globo: Fabricante de Ivermectina diz à CPI que gastou R$ 700 mil em propaganda de remédio ineficaz

2. Third dose of vaccine to be administered first to the elderly and to health professionals, says minister

Health Minister Marcelo Queiroga said that the ministry is considering administering a third dose of COVID-19 vaccines. According to Queiroga, if authorized by the Ministry of Health, the booster shots will initially be offered to the elderly and health professionals.

Queiroga said there are ongoing studies in Brazil assessing the safety of a third dose of every vaccine currently available to Brazilians. As there are no results yet, the minister did not offer a timeline for when the booster shot could be administered.

G1: Queiroga diz que 3ª dose vai começar por idosos e profissionais de saúde
CNN Brasil: Estudo começa a testar 3ª dose da vacina contra Covid-19 no Brasil
Folha de S. Paulo: Terceira dose da vacina deve começar por profissionais de saúde e idosos, diz ministro

3. Head of Institutional Security Office says military intervention could solve crisis between powers

During an interview with Rádio Jovem Pan, General Augusto Heleno, Head of the Institutional Security Office, said the possibility of a military intervention is listed under Article 142 of the Federal Constitution and, therefore, could be invoked to solve the current crisis between the executive and judicial powers. However, Heleno said there are no reasons for the armed forces to act now.
“Constitutional Military Intervention” is an argument used by the most loyal Bolsonaro supporters, justifying a stronger participation of the military in the administration. Members of Congress criticized the minister, saying they plan on summoning Heleno to parliament to explain his declarations.

Valor Econômico: Intervenção das Forças Armadas está na Constituição e pode ser usada, diz general Heleno
O Globo: Parlamentares rechaçam fala de Augusto Heleno sobre possibilidade de intervenção militar e ameaçam convocá-lo para se explicar
Poder3360: “Não acredito em intervenção federal no momento”, diz general Heleno

4. Without a deal, representatives postpone income tax reform

On Tuesday, the Chamber of Deputies postponed the vote on the tax reform bill (PL 2337/2021), which the federal government submitted to Congress in June. This is the second time representatives have postponed the vote on the bill to change taxation of income which Economy Minister Paulo Guedes sees as a priority.

Many sectors of the economy have been criticizing the bill, complaining that they will be negatively affected by such an increase in taxes. States and municipalities are also pressuring members of Congress due to concerns that they will lose a significant portion of tax collections. These complaints have made it difficult to forge a deal between party leaders to approve the bill. During a session in Congress, government leader Ricardo Barros asked for the matter to be removed from the agenda so he could work on creating a consensus. The government plans to negotiate with member of Congress to get the bill approved in the next few weeks.

CNN Brasil: Reforma tributária é incompleta e pode aumentar preços, dizem entidades à CNN
Câmara dos Deputados: Deputados adiam votação do projeto que altera regras do Imposto de Renda

5. 5G auction rules approved by majority in Federal Court of Accounts

A majority of judges in the Federal Court of Accounts have approved the rules for the 5G technology bid in Brazil. The final decision on the matter, however, is planned for next week. Minister Aroldo Cedraz asked for more time to analyze the issue before voting.

After a final analysis by the Federal Court of Accounts, the rule set will be returned to the National Telecommunications Agency (ANATEL), where the document will undergo a technical analysis. Communications Minister Fábio Faria said the administration expects to launch the bid by the end of September or by the first half of October.

O Globo: TCU tem maioria a favor de edital, e governo promete leilão do 5G em outubro
Folha de S. Paulo:  TCU agrada ao governo e aprova regras do leilão do 5G
G1: Maioria do TCU vota a favor do edital do leilão do 5G, mas pedido de vista adia decisão