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By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter

SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – The General Attorney and former Justice Minister in Brazil, Jose Eduardo Cardozo, told a Chamber of Deputies’ commission discussing the impeachment process of President Dilma Rousseff that the proceeding was started as an act of retaliation by Chamber Speaker, Eduardo Cunha.

Brazil, Chamber of Deputies, Cardozo, Brasilia
Attorney General, Jose Eduardo Cardozo during his defense of President Dilma Rousseff at the Chamber of Deputies, photo by Valter Campanato/AgBr.

“Mr. Eduardo Cunha used his power to take revenge and retaliate against the President because she refused to guarantee the Ethics Council the votes that her party could give him so that he would not be charged,” said Cardozo to Congressional Representatives.

The Speaker of Brazil’s Lower House is facing an Ethics Commission himself, accused of money laundering and not disclosing bank accounts in Switzerland when asked during an investigative inquiry by the Chamber.

Chamber Speaker reacted to Cardozo’s accusations, stating that the Attorney General criticized him to avoid a discussion of the impeachment process. “José Eduardo Cardozo is obviously not telling the truth and acting in an undignified manner,” Cunha told reporters. “He has to seek to defend the government and not start a controversy so as to avoid giving explanations to the country,” added Cunha.

For almost two hours the former Justice Minister made a final plea to the members of the special commission on why the impeachment process, should be dismissed. According to Cardozo the request has basic conceptual errors of financial law, confusing budget management with financial management. Cunha accepted this particular impeachment request late last year, after refusing several other similar appeals.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Brazil News, Eduardo Cunha, Congress, Lava Jato, House Speaker
House Speaker, Eduardo Cunha, talks to reporters, photo by Alex Ferreira/Camara dos Deputados.

For the Attorney General for an impeachment to be accepted there has to be proof of a crime of responsibility by the Executive, which according to Cardozo has not been proven. Cardozo told the members of the commission that to accept the impeachment request would be equal to ‘tearing up the Constitution’.

The President is accused of mismanagement of public revenues, borrowing money from state-owned banks to pay for social programs but not including these ‘loans’ in the federal accounting results.

This particular request does not include allegations that Rousseff appointed former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva as her Chief of Staff in an attempt to save the former leader from being charged by prosecutors. Lula is accused of receiving bribes and presents from construction and engineering conglomerates involved in the Lava-Jato (Carwash) scandal.

With Cardozo’s testimony the commission now has heard from both the authors of the impeachment request and Rousseff’s defense. According to specialists, the commission should vote on whether or not to accept the impeachment process by next week.

If accepted, the process goes to the plenary, for a vote of the entire Chamber. According to political analysts, this would be the last stage where Rousseff could halt the process, since if it passes in the Lower House it is very unlikely that the Senate, whose majority is against the current leader, will deny the request.

If she is able maintain her post, many say Brazil is bound to fall deeper into political and economic chaos. This past weekend one of Brazil’s leading dailies, Folha de S. Paulo called for President Rousseff and VP Michel Temer to resign and call new elections.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. The situation is a disgrace and hopefully the last chapter of endless corruption in a country that

    has been until recently led by two so called socialist presidents who ‘bought’ their presidencies buy fooling

    the poor into voting them in with promises of a better standard of living, a free bowl of rice and beans,

    in order that they and their cronies could steal billions upon billions of Dollars and hide themselves

    behind a legal system that protects those in government from virtually any legal recourse.

    Syphoning monies off is common practice in every country , Brasil has managed

    to proudly outdo every other country in that respect and by a huge margin and it cannot be called

    syphoning any longer but out and out rape of the countries wealth, political system, moral decency

    and is an insult to it’s population and their intelligence.

    It is high time that this so called government is throw out of office along with it’s lackeys in the

    courts who should be upholding the law such as it may be. They should be jailed where necessary and

    or barred from ever holding any official positions both public or private.

    The country can then finally have a chance to unify, rebuild and become what it should be, which

    is one of the very best countries and places in the world, a veritable global powerhouse.

    It should be worth noting that any government is elected to serve the people not serve themselves.

  2. Cardozo appears to be making a sane and just case for not putting her in cross bar hotel. What the country needs is for the elected officials to simply say and act upon………..the idea that her policies are not good for the country, in the long run…… and they will not put up with it any more. If there are enough that support that point of view………change will come.

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