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"Annulment Would Cast the Country into Uncertainty", Says President of Superior Electoral Court

06/12/2017 - 11h13

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MÔNICA BERGAMO
FOLHA COLLUMNIST

The president of Brazil' Superior Electoral Court (TSE), Justice Gilmar Mendes, said that the court frustrated the pressure made by media groups and political sectors as it did not cancel the mandate of President Michel Temer.

"They wanted the court to make a decision on this political issue [the crisis of the Temer administration], casting the country into a field of uncertainty," Mendes told Folha in an interview. "Unfortunately it is often up to us [the judiciary branch] to make a decision that opposes the majority."

Justice Mendes added that, if the court had decided otherwise, it would be better to put an end to the court system and "create a 'Big Brother' system to hear the people and the press."

Marlene Bergamo -8.jun.2017/Folhapress
Supreme Court Justice Gilmar Mendes
Supreme Court Justice Gilmar Mendes

He also said that last week's trial followed technical criteria and his vote, which sealed the 4-3 decision, would have been the same if the mandate at stake had been that of former president Dilma Rousseff.

Justice Mendes said Rousseff also benefited from the acquittal of the Rousseff-Temer slate, which had won the last presidential election, as she avoided becoming ineligible for eight years.

Mendes highlighted other forms of pressure suffered by the judiciary branch, such as those related to the Lava Jato operation - Supreme Court Justice Edson Fachin is the rapporteur of the proceedings.

The Supreme Court (STF), said Mendes, should not be obliged to approve every act of the Attorney General's Office, and the president of the Supreme Court, Justice Cármen Lúcia, should defend all its members.

"She [Justice Cármen Lúcia] must take on the institutional defense of the Supreme Court," said Mendes, who is also a member of the STF. "This is her mission."

Translated by THOMAS MUELLO

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