The Ethics Council of Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies voted unanimously, 14 to 0, in favor of the recommendation to revoke the mandate of federal deputy Roberto Jefferson (PTB party from Rio de Janeiro).
The suit to revoke Jefferson’s mandate may still be subjected to a secret floor vote next week in the Chamber. 257 votes, of a total of 513, are needed to revoke the deputy’s mandate.
The president of the Chamber, Ricardo Izar (PTB from São Paulo), said that the vote in the Chamber should be held after the September 7 holiday.
Jefferson is responsible for accusations referring to an alleged scheme of monthly allowances paid to legislators for them to vote in favor of bills the government wanted passed.
Earlier this week, House Representative Jairo Carneiro, from Bahia state, redactor of the expulsion process against Jefferson, had presented his vote in favor of expelling the deputy.
“We are convinced that his (Jefferson’s) behavior has been incompatible with parliamentary ethics and decorum…. He has offended his peers and the Chamber of Deputies imprudently…. He has abused the privilege of parliamentary immunity…. We recommend his expulsion,” wrote the redactor in his report.
Carneiro added that, in his opinion, Jefferson is also guilty of legal infractions and violating Brazilian legislation (he specifically cited “obtaining illegal advantages from private and public organizations”).
He concluded his report by rebutting Jefferson’s defense which was based on parliamentary immunity, which guarantees that members of Congress cannot be prosecuted for their “actions and words.” Carneiro pointed out that questions of ethics and decorum are also political.