By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The former Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies in Brazil, Eduardo Cunha, has been ousted from the Brazilian Congress as his impeachment process was approved by a crushing 450 votes in favor, ten against and nine abstaining. The measure puts an end to a process which spanned for eleven months.
“Brazil is better off without Cunha in public life,” Representative Chico Alencar was quoted as saying on G1 website. Alencar, has been one of Cunha’s biggest critics and noted that the impeachment of the legislator was a ‘small but important step towards the end of corruption’.
Cunha was accused of lying to a Congressional committee about having Swiss bank accounts, but the now former federal representative argued with representatives during the session that he was a victim of revenge by the PT (Worker’s Party) for having accepted the legislative process that eventually led to the impeachment of former President Dilma Rousseff.
“I have made many mistakes, I am a human being who has often committed mistakes, but my mistakes are not what have led me to this impeachment process. What has brought me here is politics. I was a victim of political revenge,” he told representatives.
During his defense speech to an almost full house, Cunha also blamed the government of President Michel Temer for the outcome of the vote. “This was all a political game. In fact, there is an agenda where the President of the Chamber, supported by the government, joined the PT (party) with the objective of impeaching me”, said Cunha.
The former legislator, however, said he did not have plans to become a whistleblower, as many have speculated. “Whistleblowers are criminals, I’m not a criminal, I have nothing to divulge,” he said, adding that he plans to write a memoir of his time in public office.