By Ben Tavener, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – A seventh minister of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff’s government has resigned amid accusations of corruption. Ministro das Cidades (Minister of Cities) Mário Negromonte has been accused of awarding public work contracts to companies which are financial supporting his party. He denies the allegations.
Progressive Party (PP) leader Aguinaldo Ribeiro is set to take over from Negromonte.
The widely-anticipated resignation came after Brazil’s Folha de São Paulo newspaper reported that Negromonte’s chief secretary had met with a businessman to discuss the bidding process for public work to be undertaken in Cuiabá, capital of Mato Grosso state.
It falls on the Ministry of Cities to award the contracts, and the minister is responsible for signing off on the deals.
Since President Rousseff took office in January 2011, there have now been eight high-ranking figures to leave their positions in her government, of which seven have resigned amid corruption allegations – now including Negromonte.
- Antônio Palocci, Chief of Staff - June 2011
- Alfredo Nascimiento, Minister of Transportation - July 2011
- Wagner Rossi, Minister of Agriculture - August 2011
- Pedro Novais, Minister for Tourism - September 2011
- Orlando Silva, Minister of Sports - October 2011
- Carlos Lupi, Minister of Labor - December 2011
- Mário Negromonte, Minister of Cities - February 2012
All of the ministers have denied the allegations.
Defense Minister Nelson Jobim also left office in early August, but this was brought about by remarks he had made about the administration, rather than through accusations of corruption.
Read more (in Portuguese).
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