Luiz Guilherme Schymura, director-general of Anatel, was asked at a news conference in Brasília Wednesday, September 11, whether the incumbent or future President of the Republic can remove him from the job. ?I don?t think so,? he said. ?I was appointed to do a job and serve out a legally established term of office. Members of Anatel?s board are appointed in accordance with the General Telecoms Act. The President doesn?t have the power to give or take away seats on the board. He only has the power to nominate one of the board to be director-general.? Asked about the legality of dismissal, he said, ?I?ll have to work on that one. I?m not a lawyer but I believe it wouldn?t be legal. I?ll have to consult my lawyers. If the President asked me to step down, I would want to know why, in what context he was making that request.? In response to questions about his reaction to pressure for his resignation from telecoms companies and reports that he is isolating himself from the rest of Anatel, he said: "I think it?s unpleasant that this kind of report has come out in the press. A few people in Anatel or the market were probably uncomfortable about me to start with, maybe because they didn?t know me. I can tell you that I have had very strong support inside Anatel. I?m increasingly involved with Anatel and feel more and more part of the agency."
Washington agenda explained
Mr Schymura also answered questions about his activities as the leader of Brazil?s delegation to the August meeting of CITEL in Washington, DC. Industry sources say the Communications Ministry was angry at reports that he negotiated DTV and other issues on his own account at the conference. "I had no parallel agenda whatsoever,? Mr Schymura replied. ?What happened is that I paid a call on the FCC and visited Michael Powell, for example. We swapped ideas and experiences. I also had talks at the State Department. I accepted invitations from anyone who wanted to see me, including the DTV people. It?s important to talk to everyone. I received the DTV people together with Ambassador Rubens Barbosa, who was kind enough to host these conversations. It?s important for Anatel to have logistical support in the United States. Our group had close contacts with staff at the Embassy there because we believe it?s important to build closer ties with the Embassy. That?s all there is to tell you.?