In an interview criticizing the Temer government, Brazil’s popular ex-President Fernando Henrique Cardoso accidentally caused confusion on social media. Cardoso, popularly known as FHC, appeared to share an article bearing the hashtag #voltaFHC (#returnFHC) on his Facebook page.
His head of social media, Xico Graziano, has since admitted it was his team’s error. Graziano had shared an article by Folha journalist Bernardo Mello Franco on FHC’s Facebook page. The team later removed the post, but it was enough for the hashtag to gain ground.
Calls for direct elections
FHC had been openly calling for direct elections, which would also make him eligible to resume Brazil’s presidency. He published a statement in Brazilian publications O Globo and Folha on Thursday, criticizing Temer’s position.
Although FHC said that Temer’s presidency is “legal and constitutional”, he also said that “what politicians call ‘legitimacy’ is missing”. His statement paints a picture of disarray and a power vacuum in Brazilian politics.
“If everything continues as it is, with the continuous deconstruction of authority, even worse if there are attempts to embarrass the ongoing investigations, I no longer see how the PSDB can continue in government.”
Looking at the bigger picture
In the statement, FHC asked that Brazil’s political class look at the country’s greater good.
“It is from this perspective that the parties, thinking about Brazil, their economic chances and the 14 million unemployed, must decide what to do,” he wrote. “The chance and the caution I am referring to derive from my perception of the gravity of the situation.”
FHC served as Brazil’s President from 1995 – 2002 with the PSDB, could not run for a third consecutive term as president in 2003. Instead, the PT gained serious ground and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva became president.
However, the #voltaFHC hashtag has triggered speculation that the ex-President may throw his hat into the ring.