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Rousseff consults legal experts on referendum
June 26, 2013, 7:30 am


President Rousseff’s government slipped eight points in the approval ratings from March to June to land at 55 per cent, says Ibope [AP]

Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff  has met with representatives of the country’s bar association (OAB) to analyse the possibility of holding a referendum on political reforms aimed at stopping ongoing protests.

The referendum would ask Brazilians if they approve of the idea of establishing a special constitutional assembly with the sole responsibility of outlining the political reforms needed.

Proposed reforms could lead to amendments to Brazil’s constitution in such areas as campaign financing, alliances between political parties, and other issues to combat corruption.

After the meeting, OAB President Marcus Vinicius Furtado Coelho said legal experts were concerned that forming a special assembly could slow down the reform process.

“The idea of a special assembly would delay the reforms and is not the best solution,” he said.

The bar association presented the president its own political reform proposal, which could be put to a popular vote through a referendum.

Justice Minister Jose Eduardo Cardozo, who took part in the meeting, called the OAB suggestion “interesting,” but said there are several ways to carry out political reforms and the government has yet to decide on one.

“There are other alternatives, and that is why we are having all these meetings,” he said.

President Rousseff was expected to meet with Brazil’s Supreme Court President Joaquim Barbodsa, Vice President Michel Temer and Senate leader Renan Calheiros after the meeting with OAB representatives on Tuesday.

The possibility of a referendum was first suggested on Monday during the president’s meeting with state governors and mayors of state capitals.

“Brazil is ready to move forward and has made it clear it does not want to remain where it is,” Rousseff said.

Rousseff’s government slipped eight points in the approval ratings from March to June to land at 55 per cent, according to new survey results released on Wednesday.

Polling firm Ibope Institute, which undertook the survey on behalf of the National Industry Confederation (CNI), reported that the number of people who believe the government is doing a bad or very bad job increased from seven per cent to 13 per cent.

Source: Agencies

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