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Group of Congressmen in Brazil Tries to Salvage Congress’s Image

In its continuing attempts to salvage the image of Brazilian Congress, a new organization, the Pro-Congress Group (Grupo Pró-Congresso), will meet today to debate the recent surfacing of accusations against the president of the Chamber of Deputies (the equivalent of Speaker of the House), Severino Cavalcanti.

The organization has more than fifty members from eight different political parties. Cavalcanti is accused of receiving kickbacks from a restaurateur who operated restaurants and snack bars in the congressional office building. He is also accused of favoring some banks, which were allowed to do business with the Chamber without proper bidding.


During the press conference on Sunday during which he defended himself from charges of receiving bribes and kickbacks, Cavalcanti presented a copy of a document which has now become pivotal to the case.


The document extends the concession contract of restaurateur, Sebastião Buani, to operate restaurants and snacks bars in the congressional office building. Buani says he had to pay off Cavalcanti in order to get the contract extension.


Cavalcanti swears that he did not sign the document and that his signature on it is forged. On Sunday he presented a report by a handwriting expert corroborating what he said about the document.


However, since Sunday questions have been raised regarding the expertise and competence of Cavalcanti’s handwriting expert. So, yesterday the third secretary of the Chamber of Deputies, Eduardo Gomes (PSDB-TO), sent a request to the head of the Chamber’s magistratical office (corregedor da Casa), Ciro Nogueira, for a new examination of the document by the country’s most renowned handwriting experts at the University of Campinas (Unicamp).


Jefferson Appeal


Today members of the Constitution and Justice Commission in the Chamber of Deputies (Comissão de Constituição e Justiça da Câmara) (CCJ) will examine a motion by deputy Roberto Jefferson (PTB-RJ) in which he alleges that he was unable to exercise his right to defend himself and was deprived of due process.


Jefferson’s appeal to the CCJ is an attempt to avoid expulsion from Congress and the loss of his mandate. The PL has sponsored a motion to expel Jefferson, accusing him of infringing parliamentary decorum by making accusations without proof.


According to Jefferson, there was a payoff scheme in the Congress in which members of parties allied with the government got monthly payments to ensure that they voted with the government.


ABr

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  • Show Comments (2)

  • Guest

    Hey hey…..
    below is part of an today brazilian article demonstrating my abopve comments are right….unfortunately :

    A congressional official, who asked not to be named, said four more of a the 17 lawmakers accused of taking funds might resign in the scandal that has threatened to derail the government of President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
    “It’s acknowledgment the government ran a corruption scheme,” said Carlos Aleluia, lower house leader of the opposition Liberal Front Party !!!!!

    And the cherry for the cake is :

    If legislators resign before the panel begins proceedings, they avoid being expelled from public office for eight years and keep the right to stand for public office again in 2006.

    That shows you…that nobody or very few will be ever punished…and they will come back innocent and powerful….on the next election !!!!!!

    I thought that laws in your country….punish by jail terms….corruption !

    This shows you that the true answer is yes but it depends of who is involved in corruption.

    So, nothing will change !!! Next time…when back…they will be smarter than ever….to continue !
    This crisis is just a warning to corrupted and corruptors that Hey Hey….they have not been smart enough….this time !!!!!!

  • Guest

    Ohhhhh lÀ  lÀ …….
    ……if Jefferson is expelled because of his accusations without proofs…….why would at least 18 politicians be also expelled…..because they were accused of bribes…from the CPMI investigations…following Jefferson accusations ?????????

    Jefferson should be expelled because he recognized he was corrupted himself !

    BUT…..he should at the same time receive a gold medal….to have revealed the general corruption of politicians that opened the many CPMI investigations and that their end findings demonstrate that what Jefferson said was….RIGHT !!!!!

    Otherwise why should the other 18 (minimum) politicians be aslo expelled ????

    Once more…things dont add up….as usual !

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