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Temer tells Congress there is "no way" out of the Constitution


Chamber of Deputies held a solemn session to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Brazilian Constitution on Tuesday
published: Nov 06, 2018 05:25 PM last modified: Nov 06, 2018 05:25 PM

Chamber and Senate parliamentarians attended the official ceremony - Photo: Marcos Corrêa/PR

Speaking during a ceremony on the 30th anniversary of the Federal Constitution in the Chamber of Deputy's plenary session on Tuesday (6 November), President Michel Temer, who was a member of the Constituent Assembly of 1988, recalled the popular enthusiasm and participation that guided the drafting of the current constitutional text. "All sectors bringing their claims, which were filtered and welcomed. [...] Our Constitution, nicknamed by Ulysses [Guimarães] the Citizen Constitution, is Citizen in its voice and content, and has brought us undeniable advances," he said.

Michel Temer pointed out that there is no path that deviates from the Constitution. Enacted on 5 October 1988, the Constitution established several guarantees and rights considered fundamental to Brazilians. During the ceremony, the President of the Senate, Eunício Oliveira, spoke about the trajectory of the Constitution and the participation of society in the preparation of its wording. "Constitutions reflect the historical moment in which they are born. At that moment, the Brazilian people knew, as you know today, that it is in democracy that you write the future with your own hands," he said.

The President of the House, Rodrigo Maia, said that the changes made to the wording guarantee autonomy to Brazilian foundations as well as fundamental rights. He mentioned the recent modernisation of labour laws and spoke about the importance of pension reform as a means of fighting privileges. "We need to control the deficit and have a fairer pension system, even if we have to face criticism," he said.

Autonomy of Powers

Also present at the event was the Chief Justice of the Federal Supreme Court (STF), Justice Dias Toffoli, who recalled that it was through the 1988 Constitution that a broad set of civil, political and social rights, as well as the strengthening of democratic institutions, became fully valid. "There is no democracy without a strong, independent and autonomous Judiciary," he said.

For Toffoli, the next government, which takes office on 1 January 2019, has immediate challenges, such as pension, tax and fiscal reforms and the promotion of public safety. He pondered that the Supreme Court will play the role of arbiter of eventual conflicts, ensuring solidity and social peace.

President-elect Jair Bolsonaro pointed out that the Constitution is the only north in the country. "In topography there are three norths: the grid north, the true north and the magnetic north. In democracy, there is only one north: that of our Constitution," he said.

The ceremony also featured the launch of a commemorative seal and stamp and a thematic postcard. Participants also visited the exhibition "Brazil under construction: 30 years of the Citizen Constitution", displayed in the Black Hall of the Chamber.