Opposition in Brazil Wants Head of Finance Minister

Brazilian opposition party PSDB (Party of the Brazilian Social Democracy) filed a motion in the Chamber of Deputies requesting authorization to propose that the Minister of Finance, Antônio Palocci, be tried by the Federal Supreme Court for malfeasance ("crime de responsabilidade" – responsibility crime).

The complaint/motion requests that a suit be brought against the minister "to corroborate the practice of malfeasance, remove him from office, and ban him from holding public office for five years."

The complaint, signed by the acting president of the PSDB, Deputy Alberto Goldman (São Paulo state), was delivered personally to the president of the Chamber, Aldo Rebelo (Communist Party of Brazil – São Paulo), who promised to remand it to the Chamber’s advisory office for an opinion on the matter.

In the document, Goldman affirms that the minister lied to the Parliamentary Investigatory Commission (CPI) on Bingo Parlors, when he denied that he had visited a South Lake mansion rented in Brasí­lia by ex-advisors to the municipal government of Ribeirão Preto (SP) where Palocci used to be mayor.

The caretaker of the property, Francenildo dos Santos Costa, was one of the witnesses who told the CPI that he had seen the minister at the residence. According to the text of the motion, the minister also played a part in violating the caretaker’s banking privacy.

Goldman accused Palocci of negligence in the identification of who was responsible for violating the caretaker’s rights. "The minister should have taken immediate action to investigate the case," he said.

"Since the Federal Savings Bank, where the caretaker has his account, is subordinated to the Ministry of Finance, it was up to Palocci to take immediate measures to investigate this violation of privacy and punish the guilty parties," he said.

For the leader of the PT, Deputy Henrique Fontana (Rio Grande do Sul), the PSDB is bringing this motion in order to destabilize President Lula’s government.

"We are completely at ease in saying that Minister Palocci did not commit any kind of wrongdoing or illegal act. Therefore, we cannot accept the notion of anyone’s asking for the minister of finance to be dismissed on the basis of a presumed charge that is being investigated and has no corroboration,"

Fontana commented. He affirmed that "in the court of the PSDB and the PFL, Lula’s government is always judged guilty, because it is a court of political inquisition."

Agência Brasil

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