By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – Government Secretary, Geddel Vieira Lima handed in his resignation on Friday (November 25th) morning to Brazilian President Michel Temer as new information about the resignation of Culture Minister, Marcelo Calero, was reported in the local media. According to Calero, both Lima and the President himself pressured him to find a solution for a construction deal in Salvador, Bahia.
An alleged resignation letter being reproduced by major media outlets in Brazil has Lima addressing the President as ‘My Fraternal Friend’. “The criticisms about me have increased. Those who know me know that this is the limit of pain I can endure. It is time for me to leave,” says the letter.
On Thursday, November 24th, President Temer’s spokesperson, Alexandre Parola, said that the President sought to “arbitrate conflict” between Ministers Calero and Lima, and did not try to influence the former Culture Minister. “The president treats all his ministers as equals. And he never induced any of them to make a decision that hurt internal norms or their convictions,” said Parola during a press conference adding that Temer had actually tried to dissuade Calero from resigning.
The pressure increased Thursday night with reports that Calero had secretly recorded conversations between himself and the President about the case. “It comes as a complete surprise to the President (the) rumors that the former minister would have requested a second hearing for the sole intention of recording clandestinely conversation with the president of the Republic for later disclosure,” commented Parola.
With the resignation of Lima and rumors of Temer’s involvement in the affair, the Brazilian real was falling on Friday morning against the U.S. dollar by 1.3 percent, to R$3.4387US$1. Geddel Vieira Lima is the sixth cabinet member to leave the Temer administration in the last six months.