The former president of Brazil’s Workers Party (PT), José GenoÀno, affirmed Tuesday, September 13, before the Joint Parliamentary Investigation Commission (CPMI) on Vote Buying that the scheme of monthly payments to members of the legislature in return for backing the government, the so-called “mensalão,” does not exist. “The exchange of money for support was never discussed,” GenoÀno declared.
Genoíno also stated that he had knowledge of only two loans he co-signed while he was president of the party. One, for US$ 860 thousand (2.4 million reais), from the BMG (Banco de Minas Gerais), in February, 2003, and the second, for US$ 1.29 million (3 million reais), in May, 2003, from the Rural Bank.
He said that he only learned about the loans made by the entrepreneur, Marcos Valério, when they were publicized in the press. “I was never aware of unreported financial activity in the party.”
Valério is accused of managing the “mensalão,” and he lent US$ 23.7 million (55 million reais) to the PT during the period when Delúbio Soares was treasurer of the party.
According to Genoíno, Soares was in charge of collecting funds and paying the party’s expenses. Genoíno also affirmed that, when he took over as president of the party, he said that he would not involve himself in three areas: the negotiation of federal government posts, party administration, and the financial activities of the party.
He affirmed that, during this period, he was responsible for the party’s political understandings and alliances.