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sexta-feira, 11 de novembro de 2011

Growing citizens’ action against ‘endemic corruption’ in Brazil’s political system

While a sixth cabinet minister faces allegations of fraud, Brazil’s Solicitors Association has stated that corruption in the country has become “unbearable” and called on the Supreme Tribunal to rapidly implement the Clean Record bill.

The Supreme Tribunal must consider the constitutionality of the Clean Record Bill

“We can’t continue living next to corruption; the country no longer stands such a situation, the Supreme Tribunal must take a decision and rule constitutional the Clean Record bill”, said Ophir Cavalcanti, president of the powerful Brazilian solicitors’ Bar.
Meanwhile Labour Minister Carlos Lupi who has been accused of corruption and other illegal activities with public monies by Brazil’s largest circulation magazine, Veja, has refused to resign as has been demanded by the opposition in Congress.
Veja has been instrumental in having five ministers resign for involvement in alleged corruption practices and procedures. Lupi would be the sixth.
The five and a sixth who stepped down because of derogatory comments towards his ministerial counterparts left when the President Dilma Rousseff administration has not yet finished its first year in office.
None of the ministers involved have faced court actions and congressional investigations have been stalled.
Earlier this week a Citizens Action Group was launched in Brazil demanding an “end to endemic corruption”, according to Estado de Sao Paulo.
The Brazilian Catholic Church and the Brazilian Bar have collected 1.6 million signatures in support of the Clean Record Bill which was passed in 2010 and bans from office those candidates that have sentenced for corruption or other connected crimes.
The Supreme Tribunal, the highest court in Brazil, and made up of ten magistrates is scheduled to begin considering the constitutionality of the bill.
One of the sitting judges Luiz Fux has anticipated that if the vote is tied regarding the constitutionality of the Clean Record bill, ‘eventually the bill will be supported”.
However on the political side the rag-tag coalition of twelve parties that make up the ruling coalition are becoming restless because of the loss of so many ministers, and apparently according to press reports “the different groupings are not prepared to accept the loss of ministries they have been enjoying”.
Meantime President Rousseff with her firm stand on combating corruption contrary to that of her predecessor and mentor Lula da Silva has seen her support surge in opinion polls.


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