Mired in Scandal, Brazil’s Lula Offers Ministries to New Allies

Scandal shocked Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva announced Thursday a new plan to curb corruption but as he did more claims of wrongdoings by his Workers Party, PT, and trusted officials were made public.

Shortly before Mr. Lula signed four decrees facilitating exposure of corruption allegations and harsh punishments for government employees involved in graft, Congress member Roberto Jefferson claimed that the ruling party and leading officials managed and split a monthly purse of 1,2 million US dollars skimmed from a government owned electricity company.


Mr. Jefferson, a junior partner of the ruling coalition, early June revealed the existence of a bribes ring to ensure Congressional support for the administration’s initiatives, which finished forcing the resignation of President Lula’s cabinet chief and most trusted political advisor who masterminded his 2002 victory, José Dirceu.


However, as with all of Mr. Jefferson’s accusations names were exposed but no hard evidence to support them.


Several Congressional investigation committees have been named, some overlapping, with recriminations against those allegedly involved.


“It is ever clearer that the government and the PT used those mechanisms to stuff the party’s coffers and broaden its base of support in Congress” said Senator ílvaro Dias.


“Public opinion is fed up with the scandals and the government must understand that it cannot distort things any more”.


Even worse the President’s “anti-corruption package” as labelled by the press was received with skepticism in Congress.


“Measures like those would be welcome if it weren’t for the fact that the President seems to be closing the paddock after all the livestock has escaped”, said opposition Deputy Bismarck Maia.


“If he really is interested in investigating and punishing corruption, why didn’t he let Congress work on the issues from the very beginning when the first allegations were made public”, added Mr. Maia.


But a weakened Mr. Lula da Silva, who until a month ago was forecasted to steam roll in his October 2006 re-election bid, now has in range for other presidential hopefuls and his Workers Party is rapidly losing its unstained credibility.


In a desperate effort to get his administration moving again Mr. Lula da Silva has reached a “governance” understanding with the center right PMDB (Partido do Movimento Democrático Brasileiro), which has a leading representation in Congress.


The six point agreement includes basically four ministries for the PMDB and a closer working relation with Congress. But ruling party senator Cristovam Buarque is not convinced.


“The alliance with PMDB does not exist. Congressional leaders can reach an agreement but there’s no certainty junior members will vote. The party is under the control of governors and grass roots, and they will have their eyes set on October 2006. Why should they help President Lula recover political initiative?” argues Senator Buarque.


Mr. Lula da Silva also faces mounting pressure from the most orthodox factions of his Workers Party who feel that his administration’s market oriented policies and closeness with the IMF and the international banking system are contrary to the party’s Socialist, neo-Marxist origin.


This article appeared originally in Mercopress – www.mercopress.com.

Tags:

  • Show Comments (0)

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

comment *

  • name *

  • email *

  • website *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Ads

You May Also Like

Brazil, the Original Leader of the Americas ”“ Part I

In November 1807, when Napoleon’s army invaded Portugal, the day before the French forces ...

Brazil’s Varig Starts to Spread Wings Overseas Again with Six Agreements

Varig, Brazil's former flagship airline, which has started to emerge from the ashes after ...

Economist Accuses Brazil and UN of Shameful Service for the US in Haiti

The opening ceremony of the 6th World Social Forum in Caracas, Venezuela, Tuesday, January ...

Brazilian Federal Police Tap and Threaten the Press

Reporters Without Borders today, November 10, condemned the action of the federal police in ...

In Haiti Till They Send Us Home, Says Brazil’s Lula

Brazilian troops leading the U.N. peacekeeping force in Haiti will stay there for as ...

Brazil and Argentina Join Forces in Cyberwar Against the US

Brazilian Defense minister Celso Amorim met his Argentine counterpart Agustín Rossi and offered to ...

US Lawyers Sue Boeing for Brazil’s Worst Air Tragedy Ever

A Brazilian woman whose husband and son were among the 154 victims who died ...

Doing Business in Brazil Is Always Hard. In Some Cities Is Even Harder.

The Brazilian cities vary significantly in the ease of doing business, according to the ...

High Inflation Doesn’t Deter Bulls in Brazil

Latin American stocks were mixed to higher, with Brazilian stocks advancing, as signs of ...