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By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter

SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – Mega construction company, Odebrecht, gave more than R$37 million in irregular donations for the 2014 Presidential campaign, according to former company executives who agreed to plea bargaining agreements in the Lava Jato (Carwash) scandal.

The presidential campaigns of Dilma Rousseff and Aecio Neves are said to have received illicit donations from Odebrecht, photo courtesy of Agencia Brasil.

Presidential candidates, however, say that all electoral contributions received for their campaigns were in accordance with legislation and if any illicit donations were made on their behalf they were unaware of them.

“In both elections, Dilma Rousseff’s orientation was always clear and direct so that the electoral legislation was respected in all the campaign acts. She was never aware that her orders were disregarded,” said a press release divulged by Dilma Rousseff over the weekend.

Adding, “All those who participated in the instances of coordination of the two campaigns have always had full knowledge of this determination.”

According to the note, Rousseff the candidate of the PT (Workers Party) ‘never maintained a relationship of friendship or proximity’ with Marcelo Odebrecht, the company’s CEO.

PSDB’s candidate Aecio Neves also denied knowing about any illicit donations. According Neves’ press aide as a party leader, Neves has not only asked for support for his campaign but also for support in the campaigns of several PSDB candidates throughout the years, but always in accordance to legislation.

The PSDB secretary also noted in a press release that Marcelo Odebrecht himself said in the statement that donations to Neves ‘never involved any kind of counterpart action’ from the politician to the construction company.

“Senator Aécio Neves was one of the main defenders of the end of the secrecy about the plea-bargaining agreements and the deepening of the investigations, which he considers fundamental in proving the false accusations made against him,” concluded the note.

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