President Jair Bolsonaro signaled on Tuesday that he would not sign Chico Buarque's Camões Prize diploma— the leading literary award of the Portuguese language.
At the entrance to the Planalto Palace, the president was asked if he would sign the document. First, he replied that his decision is a "secret." He said he has until 2026 to sign the diploma, which is expected to be delivered on April 2020.
"It's a secret. Chico Buarque?" He said. "I have a deadline? Until December 31, 2026, I sign," he replied, alluding to reelection. His term of office ends on December 2022.
The total value of the prize is € 100 thousand (around R $ 447.3 thousand), divided between the two countries. The Brazilian government already paid the deposit in June. The diploma, however, has not yet been signed by Bolsonaro.
The issue has divided the government. Members of the moderate sector think the signing of the diploma is only a protocol initiative and, therefore, the president should follow the tradition, avoiding embarrassment with the Portuguese government.
The ideological core, however, thinks that by not signing the document, the president would make a political gesture, opposing the use of public resources in non-priority actions and demonstrating that his mandate represents a break with previous governors.
Translated by Kiratiana Freelon