Brazilian House Refuses to Expel Congressman Considered Guilty by Ethics Committee

Last night the Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies rejected the expulsion of deputy Romeu Queiroz from the PTB party of Minas Gerais state for supposed involvement in a congressional payment scheme known in the press as "mensalão" or "big monthly allowance."

The vote on the expulsion of Queiroz, which was recommended by the Ethics Council, was the first of a deputy who received money from Marcos Valério, who was supposedly the moneyman in the payment scheme.

Queiroz reportedly received US$ 198,000 (450,000 reais). With 443 deputies casting ballots in a secret vote, Queiroz got 250 votes against his expulsion and 193 in favor of expulsion. 257 votes were necessary to expel him.

Deputy Júlio Delgado, from Minas Gerais’s PSB party. declared that other deputies accused of participation in the Marcos Valério payment scheme will seek to use the Queiroz vote as a precedent, allowing them to get off the hook.

Meanwhile, deputy Chico Alencar from the Rio de Janeiro P-SOL said that the vote showed there was no political will to punish anyone else. Only deputies Roberto Jefferson (the whistleblower) and José Dirceu (the former Lula chief of staff who made lots of enemies in Congress) have been expelled.

"With this vote the Congress is more distant than ever from recovering the respect of Brazilian society," he said.



  • Show Comments (3)

  • Guest

    nothing to do with poverty.
    All honest brazilians citizens, except the minority wealthy elite, have been betrayed by this decision. Because THEY elected these Congressmen to vote laws in favor of democracy and justice. They voted these laws but have no desire to apply them when they are themselves implicated.

  • Guest

    How about only electing clergymen who have taken a vow of poverty? Maybe that would have some effect.

  • Guest

    Once more, NO one can say……
    – that impunity does not exist in Brazil.
    – that justice exists in Brazil.

    It simply demonstrates that vote buying has been found acceptable and absolutely normal by the majority of Congressmen.
    And they represent the different ideologies of Brazil !
    Great for the rule of law ! Great for Democracy ! Great respect for the citizens who elected them !
    No doubt that even Lula, totally against corruption as he said repeatedly, will not say or do anything on this somber vote.
    This decision predicts the other votes to come for the other politicians found guilty.

    It would be simpler, easier and cheaper to write clearly, in the Brazilian constitution, that vote buying and corruption is totally legal.

    Totally Disgraceful, True Shame, True Scam and Sad Reality are just polite expressions..

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