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News > Latin America

Brazil: Workers' Party Calls for Decriminalization of Drugs, Referendum on Gov't Poloices

  • Gleisi Hoffmann is the president of the the Workers' Party.

    Gleisi Hoffmann is the president of the the Workers' Party. | Photo: Reuters

Published 8 May 2018

The program calls for the "decriminalization" of drug use and references the "2016 parliamentary coup" 75 times.

Brazil's Workers' Party (PT) has released a 300-page government plan titled, “The Brazil That The People Want,” which calls for the “immediate decriminalization of the use” of all drugs, a referendum for voters to determine if measures approved by the Senate-imposed administration of president Michel Temer will be revoked or maintained and a host of other issues.

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Some of the most pertinent matters outlined as part of the referendum include a 20-year public spending cut, as well as labor reform. Other issues include the “democratization” of the selection process of supreme court justices and free elections to seat all court tribunal presidents nationwide, according to Brasil 24/7.

The announcement comes one day after a march in front of the ABC Metalworkers Union in Sao Bernardo do Campo, Sao Paulo, called “Demonstration for Democracy and Free Lula.” The march marked 30 days since former Brazilian President and PT co-founder, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, has been imprisoned on alleged corruption charges.

The government program also includes 75 references to the "parliamentary coup of 2016," which led the impeachment of former Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff.

A coalition of union leaders, artists, intellectuals, and liberation theology Catholic priests against the military dictatorship in Brazil, establish the PT on Feb. 10, 1980. It has since grown to be one of the largest and most important left-wing political parties in Latin America.

Lula's presidential election victory in 2003 represented the first time the PT assumed control of Brazil's executive branch. Re-elected in 2006, his two-terms in office marked by a slew of social programs, lifting millions of Brazilians out of poverty and removing the country from the United Nations World Hunger Map. He left office with a record approval rating of 83 percent in 2011, according to Datafolha.

Despite being convicted on alleged corruption charges and imprisoned since April 7, events that many legal experts and observers attribute to lawfare and a salacious mainstream media campaign, Lula has topped every 2018 electoral poll conducted by Vox Populi, Ibope, Datafolha, Data Poder 360, Instituto Parana, the National Confederation of Transportation/MDA and Ipsos.

Brazil's Supreme Court magistrates have until Thursday to rule on an appeal, which argues that his detention is unconstitutional. Brazil's constitution stipulates that nobody can be imprisoned until all of their legal resources to contest their conviction have been completely exhausted.

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