RIO DE JANEIRO: Brazil’s military and civilian chiefs are engaged in a tough, secret debate on how much controlled democracy they will cede to the Brazilian voter.

Currently President Artur da Costa e Silva’s military-backed government rules Latin America’s largest nation by decree since the President closed down Congress during a sweeping purge last December. But the Marshal and his top advisers have spent the past month working out plans to edge Brazil back to democratic rule.

Costa e Silva is generally believed to back a reopening of Congress this month and reforms of the constitution which will give the voter more influence over the government. But he is against his drastic powers to intervene unilaterally at any time through decrees known here as “institutional acts”.

There is also no question of allowing the hundreds of old-time politicians including ex-Presidents Juscelino Kubitschek and Janio Quadros, deprived of their political rights for ten years, to stage comebacks. The debate inside the Government, according to usually reliable reports, centres on how the next President and State Governors will be elected and whether Congress ought to be reconvened. — Agency

Published in Dawn, August 25th, 2019