The Brazilian Senate was supposed to vote on the labor reform bill today. However, after the opposition staged a protest, Senate President Eunicio Oliveira ordered to shut down the power at the Senate floor in order to obstruct the sitting.
Oliveira was vexed by a group of opposition senators who blocked his way towards his chair. Irritated, he turned off all microphones and the lights of the Senate, stating that “not even during the military dictatorship such things happened.”
The power shut down happened close to noon. After that, Oliveira got together with political leaders to discuss a way to hold the vote today. The Senate regiment allows sessions to take place in any venue, under extraordinary consequences, and if the majority of the Senate approves.
The group of protesting senators is still occupying the Senate’s directing desk.
Oliveira has also threatened to take the protesting senators to face the Senate’s Ethics Committee.
So far, 42 of the 81 senators have voiced their support to the labor reform bill. That’s the minimum the government needs to approve the bill. Approving the bill is pivotal for President Michel Temer, who currently faces an indictment request. He desperately needs to show some strength.