Brasília Celebrates 50th Birthday Under Cloud of Scandal

Brasília 50 years Rogério Rosso, from the PMDB party, who served Brazil Federal District’s administration as the president of Codeplan (Planning Corporation), was a former administrator of the “satellite-city” of Ceilândia, a dormitory suburb of Brasília and former secretary of Economic Development of the Federal District, has been elected by the legislative assembly to serve as governor of Brasilia until December 31.

Rosso got 13 out of 23 votes. He substitutes Wilson Lima (PR) who has been the acting governor since shortly after the February 11 imprisonment of the sitting governor, José Roberto Arruda, and the resignation of the vice governor, Paulo Octávio.

Rosso was a dark horse who was seen as someone who could defeat Wilson Lima, the Roriz candidate

Joaquim Roriz has been governor of the Federal District (DF) no less than four times (1988-90, 1991-95, 1999-2003, 2003-07) and is the area political kingpin.

During his last term, without being able to seek reelection, he resigned and was elected in 2006 to the Senate. However, on July 4, 2007, he resigned from the Senate because of a murky case of a 2.2 million reais check, unusual phone conversations, strange dealings with a state-run bank and possible bribery of electoral court judges. Roriz is one of a long line of Brazilian politicians who are known as “thieves who get things done (“rouba mas faz” – “he steals but he does it”)

Like many DF politicians, Rosso is a Roriz protégé who has turned against the former governor. He had two other important things in his favor: he was not a member of the CLDF and was untainted by the Pandora’s Box scandal (a corruption ring uncovered in the DF consisting of bribery throughout the administration and generalized malversation).

There were a number of attempts by demonstrators and government attorneys to halt the election. The main argument against an indirect election by the CLDF was that at least nine of its members (“deputados distritais”) were implicated to the hilt in crimes being investigated by the Federal Police in the Pandora’s Box operation.

And, in fact, eight of the deputies implicated in Pandora’s Box voted for Rosso. Another maneuver, in the politics-makes-strange-bedfellows category, was an agreement wherein the opposition PT (4 votes) voted for its own candidate, who had little chance of winning, and did not vote for Wilson Lima – making the Rosso victory possible without making it necessary for the PT to vote for Rosso.

There were nasty confrontations outside the CLDF between the police and demonstrators just before, during and after the vote. At least two people were arrested, seven were hurt, with one protester taken to hospital with head injuries.

Rosso’s main task will be to get his act together in such a way that federal attorneys will stop hounding federal courts  insisting that the federal government take over the administration of the Federal District.

Rosso and his vice governor, Ivelise Longhi, took office on Monday, April, 19. On Wednesday, April 21, Brasília celebrates its 50 anniversary. Happy Birthday.

ABr

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