Brazilian Senate Agency News, september 2nd 2011
The new Brazilian Representation to the Mercosul Parliament (Parlasul) started its works on Wednesday (31). Composed of 37 parliamentarians, among them 10 senators and 27 deputies, the representation was installed in a meeting chaired by senator Pedro Simon (PMDB-RS), the oldest of the group. But the election of the president and of the two vice-presidents was postponed to a new meeting, to be chaired by deputy Roberto Freire (PPS-SP), to be held on September 13.
After opening the meeting and outlining Parlasul's history to deputies and senators who were not members of the former representation, Simon announced that the president position, through the turnover system, would belong to a senator for the next two years. Firstly contested by some deputies, the decision ended up being confirmed by acclamation.
From then on, the names of three candidates were suggested: senators Ana Amélia (PP-RS), José Inácio Arruda (PCdoB-CE) and Roberto Requião (PMDB-PR). Simon intended to immediately proceed the voting, but he gave it up after parliamentarians of PT and PMDB argued that they needed to submit the issue to their respective benches. Simon chose to leave the meeting and was replaced by Freire, who scheduled the voting of the president and the two vice-presidents.
Before finishing the works, Freire also promoted a symbolic voting so that the representation could nominate one of its members to take part in a work meeting of Parlasul in Assuncion, summoned by the president Ignácio Mendoza Unzain. The meeting aims at debating a possible change in Parlasul's Internal Regime.
As deputy Dr. Rosinha (PT-PR) explained to the new members of the representation, parliamentarians from Paraguay and especially from Uruguay are claiming the approval of a change in the regime as a pre-condition so that deputies and senators can take office. Through the change, they intend to reduce the bigger Brazilian bench's influence in the parliament’s voting.
As a consequence of a political agreement signed last year, the Brazilian representation will have 37 parliamentarians instead of 18 in this new transition phase for the complete implementation of the parliament. All members are deputies and senators running their mandates. The same way, the Argentinean bench will have 26 parliamentarians instead of 18. After the holding of direct elections, probably in 2014, in Brazil, both countries' benches will increase. Brazil will have 74 and Argentina 37 parliamentarians. Paraguay and Uruguay will keep their 18 parliamentarians each, even after the elections.
By the current regime, the voting at the parliament's sessions could only take place with the presence of parliamentarians from each of the four bloc member countries, as Rosinha recalled. Even though, remarked the deputy, the benches of the two less populated countries in Mercosul would want to get more guarantees in relation to the needed majority for the approval of each type of proposals.
“I go to the meeting to listen to what they have to say. But they are already protected by the current regime,” said Rosinha after the meeting.
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