Brazilian Deputies in the List to Be Kicked Out Can Resign and Avoid Penalties

The president of the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies, Severino Cavalcanti (PP-Pernambuco), has now sent the Ethics Council a final list of the last four deputies who face possible expulsion from the Congress.

They are: Romeu Queiroz (PTB-Minas Gerais), José Dirceu (PT-São Paulo), Sandro Mabel (PL-Goiás) and Francisco Gonçalves (PTB-Minas Gerais). They join four other deputies whose names Cavalcanti had already sent to the council: Sandro Matos (PTB-Rio de Janeiro), Neuton Lima (PTB-São Paulo), Joaquim Francisco (PTB-Pernambuco) and Alex Canziani (PTB-Paraná).


Pursuant to Brazilian legislative practice, the deputies can resign up to the moment they are formally charged. By resigning they do not lose their “political rights,” they just have to give up their seats in the Congress and can run for election again next year.


However, if the expulsion process goes through and they are expelled from Congress, besides losing their congressional seats, they are prohibited from running for office for eight years.


There is some question about the charges against Gonçalves as they are based exclusively on his own confession of wrongdoing. He is accused of not taking action after he saw a suitcase full of money in the Congress. All the others are accused of involvement in the payoff scheme denounced by deputy Roberto Jefferson (PTB-Rio de Janeiro).


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