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Brazil’s Lula Apologizes. Ally Says He Knew All. Impeachment Is on the Cards.

Brazil's Lula addresses the nation on network TVBrazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva apologized Friday, August 12, in a nationwide address for a bribery and campaign finance scandal while the head of a junior party in the ruling coalition said for the first time that the President was aware of misdeeds before they occurred.

“The government and the Workers’ Party have to ask for forgiveness from the Brazilian people” said Lula da Silva in a short, solemn speech at the presidential ranch in which he denied knowledge of any wrongdoing.


The scandal centers on accusations that the Workers’ Party bribed Congress members to back legislation and used undeclared financing, mostly skimmed from government owned companies or from private corporations with specific interests, for the 2002 election campaigns.


In his speech the former union leader said he felt “betrayed by unacceptable actions” and called for the reform of political financing rules that he has blamed for luring off-the-books money into the system.


“I’m conscious of the gravity of the political crisis. It hurts the entire party system,” he said. “It is the duty of the government to stop the crisis from contaminating the economy.”


Although several top officials have resigned because of the scandal, Lula da Silva who was elected president in October 2002 had so far not been directly implicated and opinion polls showed almost unscathed support.


But this week a former Congress member said Lula da Silva was aware of undeclared campaign funding by his ruling Workers’ Party.


“Lula was in the next room. He knew we were negotiating numbers,” former Liberal Party head Valdemar Costa Neto told í‰poca magazine in an interview.


The Liberal Party is an ally of the Workers’ Party. Costa Neto said the PL agreed to join the coalition because Lula’s Workers Party promised to pay the group 10 million Reais, approximately US$ 4.5 million.


He provided details of a meeting he said he held with Lula, vice president José Alencar, former presidential chief of staff José Dirceu and former PT treasurer Delúbio Soares. Lula was there to seal the deal, Costa Neto said.


“Lula, José Dirceu and Delúbio are part of the same family. You can’t just crucify one of them,” said Costa Neto, who resigned from Congress last August 1st after admitting to having taken the irregular funding.


For the first time since the scandal that has rocked Brazil emerged, a public opinion poll published by the DataFolha opinion research firm showed Lula da Silva would be defeated by São Paulo Mayor José Serra in a run-off vote should the opposition Social Democratic Party, or PSDB, politician choose to run for president October 2006.


Even before the latest allegations surfaced, the opposition confirmed it is consulting attorneys about the shortest routes to impeaching the president. Although opposition parties PSDB and the conservative Liberal Front, PFL, said impeachment is not their first choice, “that seems where the crisis is heading”.


Lower House deputy speaker, José Thomas Nonô added, “even if the moderates want to prevent it, we are on the road to impeachment”. One such moderate is House Speaker Severino Cavalcanti, who considers it “hasty” to speak of impeaching Lula, “though it can’t be ruled out”.


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

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  • Show Comments (9)

  • Guest

    Real
    There are indications that there will be no long term effects on the real. But if there is more evidence of corruption, as this continues to unfold it could adversly effect the real. I may not like Lula’s politics, but I would prefer not see Brazil go through an impeachment which would impact the real and divide the country.

  • Guest

    will this effect the strength of the real?

  • Guest

    !!!!!!!
    finally a good vision of the truth !!!!!!

    With this crisis……dont forget to put pressure
    on your political parties, government, lawmakers. etc etc… to reopen the scandal that involved…the USD 32 billions….yes billions…in money laundering…that your lawmakers officially decided not to investigate. Decision taken on december 18, 2004 ! Normal : 91 politicians…were named !!!

    USD 32 billions is a lot of money for any country…even developped coutry. This represents around 15 % of your total foreign debt ! Or…..just slightly less than….this year trade surplus !!!!

    I let you make the numbers of what this huge amount could do to ….new schools, social projects, low costs housings,new roads and highways that will help everyone in your country…even the industries. This will creates hundres of thousands of jobs and reduce your transportations costs…that all of your exporters are complaining…..!!!!!

  • Guest

    Mhmmmmmm….
    …the only way to stop this crisis is by having himself….resign…or be forced to resign.
    Why this guy should even ask forgiveness……when he would have not accepted the same..while he was not elected and in the opposition camp ????????

  • Guest

    !!!!!!!
    finally a good vision of the truth !!!!!!

    With this crisis……dont forget to put pressure
    on your political parties, government, lawmakers. etc etc… to reopen the scandal that involved…the USD 32 billions….yes billions…in money laundering…that your lawmakers officially decided not to investigate. Decision taken on december 18, 2004 ! Normal : 91 politicians…were named !!!

    USD 32 billions is a lot of money for any country…even developped coutry. This represents around 15 % of your total foreign debt ! Or…..just slightly less than….this year trade surplus !!!!

    I let you make the numbers of what this huge amount could do to ….new schools, social projects, low costs housings,new roads and highways that will help everyone in your country…even the industries. This will creates hundres of thousands of jobs and reduce your transportations costs…that all of your exporters are complaining…..!!!!!

  • Guest

    SO OBVIOUS HE KNEW IT ALL……
    HE KNEW IT……
    – before being elected President…..that his party…..for years….like all parties…..had CaÀ¯xa 2 !!!! Not a doubt…that he was involved…then….
    – during and right after the elections….alliances were formed. So it is……..I give you…..money….and power….and you give me….votes…..in exchange.
    – When the problem started to be published….he blamed the elite and the opposition to lie and create problems. to his government and party. The President and the PT even tried to NOT allow the investigation….through political pressures.
    If he did not know…as he says…..as an opponnent to corruption…..he should have said….lets open the investigation.
    – HE RECOGNIZED directly he knew it….and probably was even involved….when he officially said…..but everyone else does it.
    Everyone means….him included…by definition !!!!!
    – HE RECOGNIZED IT again on Friday…..asking forgiveness.
    – Lula is lying to himself and to the citizen of Brazil when he said ….it is the duty of the government to stop the crisis in contaminating the economy….!!!!!! During all his life….he would have not accepted such a statement….from another President….while himself in opposition. The contamination that effectively exists….is the corruption deeply rooted…at all levels. So his statements was in fact a try …….to not investigate further….because for the time being he was not directly involved….but only his lieutenants ! So it would be a shame to him….that investigators have proofs and evidences…that HE WAS involved. The shame would come from what he all his life opposed….elite, corruption etc etc.!!!!

    HE LIED TO CITIZENS FOR YEARS…..BECAUSE HE WANTED TO GO THE TOP….BY ALL AND EVERY MEANS…WHATEVER TRICKS ARE NEEDED!!!!

    RECENTLY HE CLEARLY SAID …that truth must come out…and that he is ready to cut into their (PT) own flesh.

    SO NOW IT IS TIME TO TAKE HIM BY HIS OWN WORDS…..he should also cut into HIS own flesh…as it is too easy to cut only others fleshs…and incriminating always *others” who by the way…were HIS FRIENDS AND PARTNERS….for decades. They were the founders of the PT PARTY…defending basic rights, against corruption and elite.

    NOW they are the elite….and the corrupted…and the corruptors……!!!!!

  • Guest

    Where\’s the military?
    We need the military back to set things right!

  • Guest

    I agree with you 1000%, I have been doing this for the last 2 months.

    I think you will see 3 again and maybe more!

  • Guest

    Start buying dollars!
    Beat the rush.
    Dump the Real on Monday.

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