Rodrigo Maia to run for re-election as Chamber of Deputies President, centrist parties vow fight

Chamber of Deputies President Rodrigo Maia (DEM-RJ), elected following the impeachment of former Chamber President Eduardo Cunha (PMDB-RJ) in July 2016, announced his intention on 11 November 2016 to run for re-election for the position in February 2017 with the support of the PMDB, a centrist party (Folha de S. Paulo, Estado de Minas). However, some leaders of the “Centrão,” a group of centrist parties comprising about 200 of 513 deputies, have promised a political and juridical battle to prevent Maia from re-election. The group argues Maia’s maneuver is illegal, as the Chamber President’s mandate is for two years, and re-election is prohibited. The group has posited Deputies Jovair Arantes (PTB-GO) and Rogério Rosso (PSD-DF) as candidates. A dispute within the Centrão, much of which is aligned with the administration of President Michel Temer, could affect or delay the passage of legislature, including social security reform, that the administration considers to be critical.