Prosecutor General says Bolsonaro would face legal challenge upon altering isolation rules

isolation Augusto Aras, Brazil's soon-to-be prosecutor general
Augusto Aras

In an interview with newspaper O Globo, Brazil’s Prosecutor General Augusto Aras stated that he could launch a legal challenge to Jair Bolsonaro if the president were to issue a decree loosening Covid-19 isolation measures across the country.

The Prosecutor General underlined that Health Minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta should be in charge of defining which approach Brazil takes to isolation to confront the coronavirus pandemic, and that any attempt by President Bolsonaro to circumvent this could be met with a judicial challenge.

Asked about Mr. Bolsonaro’s flippant attitude toward the pandemic, Mr. Aras assured that the president “has freedom of expression and enjoys a certain degree of immunity.” “However, if the president were to issue a decree contrary to the [current isolation] directives (…) it would be subject to judicial review.” 

Mr. Aras was appointed by President Bolsonaro himself last year, and has been criticized for being a government strawman at the head of the Federal Prosecution Service. Mr. Aras refuted this allegation, saying it is “a grossly unfair accusation.”

“I won’t yield to partisanship. I will remain faithful to the Constitution and the law. If anyone wants to accuse me of any fault, let them point out the rule I am violating,” he said.