In a major political turnaround, Valdemar Costa Neto, the president of Brazil's Partido Liberal (PL), revealed on November 27, 2023, that the party has decided to oppose the nomination of Flavio Dino, the incumbent Minister of Justice and Public Security, for a vacancy on the Supreme Federal Court (STF). This decision is a stark departure from Costa Neto's earlier endorsement of Dino in September, assuming Dino was adequately prepared for the role.
Conflict Within PL
The shift in stance has ignited internal strife within the PL, especially with the sons of former President Jair Bolsonaro, who are also affiliated with the party. Senator Flavio Bolsonaro has been particularly vocal in his criticism of Dino, denouncing his views on contentious issues such as abortion, drug and arms trafficking, and accusing him of employing the police to pursue politicians. Furthermore, Councilman Carlos Bolsonaro has taken issue with PL members who are in alignment with the government of current President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
Flavio Dino was nominated by President Lula to fill the seat left vacant by Minister Rosa Weber's retirement in September. Dino has conveyed his intention to engage in dialogue with the Senate to secure approval. Alongside this, Lula also announced the nomination of prosecutor Paulo Gustavo Gonet Branco to lead the Attorney General's Office (PGR), succeeding Augusto Aras. These nominations will first undergo hearings in the Senate's Committee on Constitution and Justice before progressing to the full Senate floor, where they require the backing of a minimum of 41 senators.
Upcoming Senate Sessions
As the National Congress is set to go into year-end recess in less than a month, the dates for these processes have not been confirmed yet. However, Rodrigo Pacheco, the President of Congress, has expressed efforts to review the nominations between December 12 and 15.