A meeting at the hotel Meliá, in Brasília, where the president-elect, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT), lives, may have sealed the future of the Ministry of Environment. Senator Simone Tebet was seen in a meeting with Lula at the site this Friday (27th).
The theme of the meeting would be which portfolio in the first echelon she could hold in 2023. The post would be a way to guarantee the continuity of Tebet, and of the MDB, as a basis for PT governance.
To support his mandate, Lula announced his ministries bit by bit. Tebet was cited for the Ministry of Social Development until Thursday (22), but due to internal pressure from the PT, the portfolio that commands the Bolsa-Família and tends to be the center of attention of the new management, remained with Wellington Dias . .
Soon after, the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock would have been offered to Tebet, who turned it down. The portfolio was occupied in the management of Jair Bolsonaro (PL) by Tereza Cristina (PP), another senator from Mato Grosso do Sul, and a great antagonist of Simone Tebet in the political scene.
The final announcement about the ministries is likely to be scheduled for Tuesday (27), as Lula has already told the press. But until then, the big question is: why take the Ministry of Environment away from Marina Silva, the main candidate to return to the portfolio so far, and hand it over to Tebet?
The unpopularity of Marina Silva (Rede-SP) with the productive sector may be the root of the problem. Most of the protests questioning Lula’s election are financed by agricultural companies, as the Higher Electoral Court itself has already indicated. On the other hand, most of the financiers of the unelected president, Jair Bolsonaro, they are from agricultural business.
Having Simone Tebet, a name linked to the rural sector, in the portfolio can calm most of the minds. No wonder Tebet has already confirmed his interest in the area, as reported by O Globodespite the portfolio being almost out of funds.
If realized, it would be a path to reconciliation that Lula advocated in his inauguration speech.
Another point is that Tebet’s support for the PT in the second round had the symbolic value of also creating a definitive rapprochement between the MDB and the PT, shaken since Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment in 2016.
Tebet is also a name that can help Lula deal with Bolsonarism, which is also reflected in the environmental agenda, in the states of the Amazon, where deforestation and fires are important challenges for the Ministry of the Environment.
By pleasing the rural group, Lula could also gain points in a future confrontation in the National Congress to remove Arthur Lira from the presidency of the Chamber of Deputies.
How is Marina Silva?
After meeting with Tebet, Lula told the press who will only comment on the decision after speaking with Marina Silva, the federal deputy for REASON, and the most cited name for the Ministry of Environment since the results of the election, in October.
Marina Silva’s advice did not confirm whether this meeting will take place.
If passed over for office, Marina Silva could gain more than she loses. First, because she is returning to the National Congress, a position where she has more capacity to act and can guarantee spotlights to return to the Federal Senate in the next elections.
Second, because the assumption of the Ministry of Environment after years of scrapping, with increasing deforestation and strong opposition from sectors that benefit from illegality, could further erode Marina Silva’s political image.
And third, if he backs down from his office but doesn’t break up with Lula, Marina will have that trump card up her sleeve with the PT. What can strengthen it in the voting of bills of its authorship.
Despite pressure from the press, there is no indication that Lula will comment on the decision until Monday. During the last press conference, Thursday (22), the president stated that this Friday (23), he will leave for São Paulo, where he will meet with his family for Christmas.
Until then, if it depends on digital militancy, Simone Tebet should remain in office. If confirmed, Lula wins points with the productive sector, despite Brazil losing (again) because he failed to bring to power a black woman of Amazonian origin and with extensive experience in the combating deforestation and illegality.