Brazilian Government Finalizes Proposal to Ban Active Military in Political Office

The amendment talks about the depoliticization of the Army, Navy, and Air Force


The Lula government (PT) decided to send a PEC (Proposed Amendment to the Constitution) to the National Congress that will create rules to prohibit active-duty military personnel from the Armed Forces from running in elections or occupying positions in the top echelon of the Executive. The definition of the content of the PEC took place on Monday (28), five months after the Minister of Defense, José Múcio Monteiro, closed an agreement on the subject with commanders Tomás Paiva (Army), Marcos Olsen (Navy) and Marcelo Damasceno (Air Force). Folha had access to the draft of the proposal sent to President Lula.

The text, signed by Múcio and by the Minister of Justice, Flávio Dino (PSB), says that the Constitution defines limits for the political action of the military.

BRASILIA, DF, BRASIL, 04-04-2023: President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva participates in a ceremony for the presentation of newly promoted general officers at the Palácio do Planalto. (Foto: Pedro Ladeira/Folhapress, PODER) - Folhapress

"The constitutional text prohibits the military, for example, from unionizing and striking, as well as from getting affiliated to a political party while they are on active duty. Furthermore, in view of the relevance of military activity, the legal system imposes restrictions on the accumulation of positions, as well as the exercise of a position, job or temporary civil public function", says an excerpt from the document. The two ministers also argue that the ban on military personnel remaining on active duty when running for elections or holding positions in the top echelon of the Executive is an "additional precaution" to guarantee the "political neutrality of the Armed Forces". "With this objective, it is proposed that the military in active service, stable, who wants to run for elective office, be transferred to the reserve at the time of registering the candidacy", they say.

To avoid cases like that of the government of Jair Bolsonaro (PL), which placed active-duty military personnel in strategic positions in the Executive, the proposal also creates a "prohibition for them to occupy positions of Minister of State, while they are on active duty".

Translated by Cassy Dias

Read the article in the original language