Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva sacked the leading officials from the government run Post Office and the Reinsurances Institute following corruption allegations involving members of his own ruling party.
He also promised an in depth investigation into claims that his own Workers Party had been involved in “vote buying” in Congress.
The claims against President Lula’s party were made last Monday by the leader of another party which happens to belong to the ruling coalition.
However the Brazilian President said he would personally ensure that investigations reach their logical conclusion and “if needs be, we are prepared to cut our own flesh”, an apparent reference to alleged wrongdoing within his own Workers Party.
Government sources revealed this was the first announcement to cut short the scandals that gradually turned into snowballs and ended directly involving the Workers Party.
The sackings in the Post Office and the Reinsurances Institute involved all top officials and were decided following a meeting of President Lula da Silva with the Ministers of Communications Eunício Oliveira and Finance Antonio Palocci.
In both cases Deputy Roberto Jefferson president of the small Labour Party has been named and also happens to be the person who last Monday revealed that President Lula’s Workers Party had bribed members of Congress to ensure support for critical legislation.
The revelation shocked Brazil particularly since it involved a member of the ruling coalition and sent tremors to financial markets fearing the consequences of a political showdown.
However in spite of the decision to investigate all alleged corruption claims most political parties opted to isolate Deputy Jefferson fearing greater damage to the image of the weakened institutions by the scandal.
“I swore by the constitution to be the main guardian of Brazil’s institutions”, highlighted Mr. Lula da Silva, adding that “Congress can never be for sale”.
Nevertheless there was no outright denial of the allegation that the Workers Party treasurer had made payments to legislators from other parties but so far there has been no hard evidence to support the claim.
Workers Party Treasurer Delubio Soares has been kept away from the media since the story broke out and the Labor Party announced that Congress member Jefferson has ceased to be president of the grouping and could eventually be expelled.
This article appeared originally in Mercopress – www.mercopress.com.