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Brazil's Senate Challenges Supreme Court and Could Bar Neves's Suspension

09/28/2017 - 13h38

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TALITA FERNANDES
LETÍCIA CASADO
FROM BRASÍLIA

In a new battle between Brazil's Judiciary and Legislative branches, the Senate is likely to reject the decision made by the Supreme Court (STF) on Tuesday, September 26, that suspended Senator Aécio Neves (PSDB-MG) again and imposed him a night commitment.

The 3-2 decision led to reactions in both the Supreme Court and in the Senate.

Worried about consequences they could face themselves, as many of them are targeted by investigations, some senators began to demand the president of the Senate, Eunício Oliveira (PMDB-CE), to take on the case to be voted in a plenary sitting.

These senators sustain that the suspension has no legal support in the Constitution.

They base their arguments on Article 53 of the Constitution which calls for imprisonment of senators and federal congressmen only in the case of "non-bailable offence caught in the act."

"The Supreme Court exceeded the interpretation of the Constitution. What was done yesterday [Tuesday] is a patent teratology. Sanctions that were not called for were applied," said Senator Cássio Cunha Lima (PSDB-PB).

Leaders of political parties interviewed by Folha said they are sure that the case will be taken to a plenary sitting.

"If the Constitution was attacked by a decision, then it is up to the Senate to make a decision based on the Constitution; it is obvious that the Senate will take measures," said Oliveira.

The Senate only needs 41 votes of the total 81 senators to override the Supreme Court's decision.

Translated by THOMAS MUELLO

Read the article in the original language

Evaristo Sá/AFP
Senator Aécio Neves had his mandate suspended by the Supreme Court
Senator Aécio Neves had his mandate suspended by the Supreme Court

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