Brazilian BAR president backs political reform referendum

July 2, 2013
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The protests taking place across the country of Brazil have made global headlines as residents have taken to the streets in an effort to initiate government change. If proposed referendums are any indication, those voices may have been heard.

On June 24, President Dilma Rousseff issued a statement calling for the people to choose the necessary changes for political reform. Two days later, Marcus Vinicius Furtado, the president of the Brazilian Bar Association (OAB), stepped up to defend the president's idea.

According to Furtado, he rejects the idea that Brazilian citizens are unprepared to vote. Instead they should be a bigger part of the process.

If passed, it would create a questionnaire that citizens can fill out which will essentially provide a priority list of the kinds of social and government change that the country's leaders can focus on. Furtado stressed the need for those questions to be "simple and direct." This is because citizens from all walks of life want to be a part of this change and making sure everyone understands the survey is crucial. He even called for the Superior Electoral Court to conduct knowledge campaigns prior to the release of the questionnaire that is free of partisan ideas and just spreads the facts to the people.

"What the Congress is doing now, it should always do, instead of simply waiting for the protests," Furtado said. "Hearing the sentiment of society and expressing the will of the community. This is the function of the National Congress."

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