Accused of Demanding Kickback, Brazil’s Speaker of the House Seems Doomed

Five political parties from Brazil decided to file a motion next week in the Ethics Council against the President of the Chamber, Severino Cavalcanti, for violation of parliamentary decorum. Leaders of the PDT, PV, PPS, PSDB, and the PFL are now hoping that other parties and deputies will join the movement.

“In the meantime, the technical staffs of the parties that have already made up their minds should draft the petition requesting the Council to investigate,” informed the minority leader, José Carlos Aleluia, for whom the motion does not depend on whether the president of the Chamber eventually decides to resign his post of his own free will.


“Severino is going against the grain of Brazilian society. Everybody wants a Congress with a new countenance. His staying on is what would be detrimental,” he contended.


The leader of the PPP, Raul Jungmann, added that legislators from the PMDB, PC do B, PSB, and the PT have already expressed their intention to endorse the joint motion against Cavalcanti.


“We urge voters to show their desire and press their representatives, saying what they want by e-mail or in the streets, for us to have a self-respecting and decent Parliament,” Jungmann suggested.


The controversy over the situation of the president of the Chamber heated up, after the news magazine, Veja, published a document in which Cavalcanti appears to have signed a contract extending the concession for one of the restaurants in the Chamber to the Buani & Paulucci company, owned by the entrepreneur, Sebastião Buani.


Cavalcanti, in an official trip to New York, had already released three official notes denying any involvement in this process.


In testimony before the Federal Police, the ex-manager of the restaurant, Izeilton Carvalho, confirmed that the president of the Chamber, who was first secretary at the time, demanded a payoff to sign the extension. Buani himself held a press conference to present details of the kickback scheme.


Agência Brasil

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