In a meeting with Lira, organizations requested assurance of social participation in the Chamber
With the return to onsite working in the Legislative House, participants from a number of organizations delivered two documents to the president of the Chamber of Deputies, containing measures to ensure transparency and the presence of civil society in the parliament
Integrantes de ONGs e movimentos sociais pedem que Arthur Lira, presidente da Câmara, garanta participação social na Casa Legislativa. Foto: Câmara dos Deputados
On Wednesday, 27th, representatives of civil society met with Congressman Arthur Lira, president of the Chamber of Deputies, to request transparency and assurance of social participation in the work of the Legislative House during the Covid-19 pandemic.
During the meeting, participants of NGOs and movements delivered two manifestos to Lira, signed by 160 organizations and stressing the importance to democracy of a free and active civil society. In the meeting, the organizations also requested the legislative authority´s commitment to not allowing bills of law that limit civic space in the country, to go ahead.
The meeting was made possible by Congresswoman Talíria Petrone, of the Parliamentary Front for the Defence of Democracy and Human Rights. Participants included Conectas, Terra de Direitos, Oxfam Brasil, Pacto pela Democracia e Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra, Aliança Nacional LGBTI+ and Rede Advocacy Colaborativo. The meeting took place in the same week the Chamber of Deputies resumed onsite working.
Measures to ensure social participation
The document put together by the Front and delivered to the president of the Chamber contains 11 measures need for the democratization of transparency and social participation in the parliamentary framework: authorization for civil society to participate in person, with the appropriate sanitary precautions; the return of the mixed committees to consider Provisional Measures that were suspended during the pandemic; preview of agendas to allow high quality social participation and an end to the practice of same-day voting on urgent requirements and the merit of bills of law.
Free civil society
Camila Asano, Conectas programme director, who was at the meeting, recounted that Lira informed them that the Chamber is in the process of adapting to returning to onsite working and that he acknowledged the importance of opening the House up for social participation, within the guidelines of the pandemic.
“The organizations are concerned that on resuming onsite working the Chamber of Deputies may end up creating tighter restrictions on the presence of social movements and organizations. We delivered the message to president Arthur Lira that democracy requires an active and free civil society. Access to areas of debate and deliberation in the National Congress is a victory of the democratic process and must be preserved”, said Asano.