Brazil: Congress chief Rodrigo Pacheco favoured to hand over presidential sash in Bolsonaro’s absence

Rodrigo Pacheco and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva – O GLOBO / ZUMA PRESS / CONTACTOPHOTO

The head of Brazil’s Congress, Rodrigo Pacheco, sounds like a favorite to be in charge of handing the presidential sash to President-elect Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva at the inauguration on January 1, 2023, once the absence of Jair Bolsonaro, who will spend the end of the year in the United States, is confirmed.

Since Lula won the October 30 elections, the identity of the person in charge of making the symbolic transfer of power has been unknown, since Bolsonaro has never been an option from the very beginning. The still Brazilian president made it clear to his supporters that he would not participate in an act for the greater glory of his rival.

Not only Bolsonaro has refused, but also his vice president, Hamilton Mourao, who has made it clear that he will not hand over any presidential sash because it does not correspond to him, something that could be seen in other countries such as the United States when Mike Pence handed over power to Joe Biden after the departure of Donald Trump.

The option of Pacheco, who also presides over the Senate, has gained more strength in recent days, since the other person who could assume that role, the head of the Supreme Court, Judge Rosa Weber, who usually shies away from big events, reports the newspaper ‘O Globo’.

Pacheco will open the inaugural session in Congress for the president and vice-president-elect to sign the act of mandate. Afterwards, the new head of state goes to the Planalto Palace where he receives the sash and bids farewell to the outgoing president. In the absence of Bolsonaro, the ceremony would begin and end in the chambers.

In addition to Pacheco’s option, others were also considered, such as that of the president of the Chamber of Deputies, Arthur Lira (PP-AL), that of former president Dilma Rousseff – as a sort of historical reparation for the impeachment trial against her that later proved unfounded -, or even that of summoning a group of people representing Brazil’s at-risk populations.