Former minister Guido Mantega announced this Thursday (17) his resignation from the transition team of president-elect Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT). In a letter addressed to elected vice-president Geraldo Alckmin (PSB), who is in charge of the work, the former head of the Treasury pointed out the intention of opponents to “disturb” and “create difficulties for the new government” as one of the reasons for his removal.
Mantega was announced last week as a member of the technical group responsible for planning, budgeting and management in the transition team.
Due to being disqualified by the TCU (Tribunal de Contas da União) to hold a position in a commission or function of trust in the federal public administration due to punishment involving the case of tax pedaling, however, its participation would be voluntary.
The TCU condemnation was not the only noise: Guido was the longest-serving finance minister in history, taking over the portfolio in March 2006, in the Lula government, and remaining in it until 2014, in the Dilma Rousseff (PT) government.
His presence on the transition team symbolized the period in which he dictated the rules and adopted a developmental policy that resulted in high rates of economic growth and a sharp drop in unemployment.
The image, however, was eroded by the subsequent sharp decline in the economy. And today Guido suffers strong resistance from sectors of the financial market.
In the letter of resignation sent to the elected vice president, the former minister classifies the TCU’s decision that removed him from public life as unfair.
“In view of an administrative procedure by the TCU, which improperly held me responsible, as Minister of Finance, for practicing the alleged postponement of expenses in 2014, the so-called tax pedals, I accepted to work on the team as an unpaid employee, without public office, not to go against the decision that prevented me from exercising public functions for eight years”, he says.
“Even so, my condition was being exploited by opponents, interested in disturbing the transition and creating difficulties for the new government”, he continues.
Mantega finalizes the document stating that he awaits the suspension of the acts carried out by the TCU through a court decision. “I am confident that Justice will correct this mistake, which tarnished my reputation”, says the former minister.
In 2016, he lost the right to assume public office for five years. He was also fined BRL 54,820.84. A 2018 judgment extended the sanction to eight years, a period that began to run from February 25, 2022, when the case became final.
With this, the former minister would be disqualified from holding a position in a commission or a position of trust in the public administration until February 25, 2030.
Read the full letter sent by Mantega to Alckmin below:
São Paulo, November 17, 2022.
Dear Vice President
General Coordinator of the Transition Team
I happily accepted the invitation to participate in the Transition Group, in the certainty of being able to make a contribution to the implementation of President Lula’s democratic government.
However, in view of an administrative procedure by the TCU, which improperly held me responsible, as Minister of Finance, for practicing the alleged postponement of expenses in 2014, the so-called fiscal pedaling, I accepted to work on the Team as an unpaid employee, without public office , so as not to contradict the decision that prevented me from exercising public functions for 8 years.
Even so, my condition was being exploited by opponents, interested in disturbing the transition and creating difficulties for the new government.
In view of this, I decided to request my removal from the Transition Team, pending a court decision that will suspend the TCU acts that removed me from public life. I am confident that the courts will correct this mistake, which has tarnished my reputation.
Thanks for the trust,