Brazilian Senator Concedes: In Congress We’re All Crooks

Demóstenes Torres, senator from Brazil Following months of claims of corruption practices in the Brazilian senate, senator Demóstenes Torres from Goiás state, during a rowdy congressional debate, admitted what the rest of the population of Brazil already knows: "We are but a bunch of crooks that have lost all credibility with our citizens."

Torres added that Brazilian senators are a "gang of characters" which had themselves elected with the only purpose of becoming rich forgetting public interest. "What's our image before public opinion? What's the Senate for, people ask."

The intervention of Senator Torres who belongs to the opposition conservative Social Democrats party followed a violent exchange of insults and opprobrious expressions between two of his peers which forced the canceling of the television screening in Congress.

Renan Calheiros from the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party, PMDB accused the opposition peer Tasso Jereissati of using Senate expenses to purchase fuel for his private jet, calling him "a bag of shit"

Jereissati reacted warning Calheiros "don't you dare point one of your dirty corrupt fingers at me."

Tension has been brewing in the Brazilian Senate since the Upper House president José Sarney, a former president and a most powerful figure in Brazilian politics, has been repeatedly called on to quit given the mounting evidence of corruption, graft, nepotism, influence peddling and appropriation of public funds.

However Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva can't let his main ally in the Senate fall, otherwise the job goes to an opposition senator. This would mean the loss of congressional agenda management, the beginning of a pending investigation into the state owned Petrobras oil corporation and even more important, could severely weaken the chances of Lula's appointed hopeful to succeed him in next year's presidential election.

In spite of all the claims and evidence, Lula once again in the last few days confirmed his support for Senator Sarney and the PMDB as his main Senate ally, and called on the ruling Workers Party members to ensure his permanence in the job.

However the situation is so tense that some members of the Workers' party rebelled and signed an open letter asking for the immediate ousting of Sarney

Mercopress

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