31 May 2015
Transparency Minister Fabiano Silveira resigned. TV Globo broadcasted secret recordings of Silveira giving legal advice to the Senate president Renan Calheiros. Silveira also criticised the massive enquiry into the oil company corruption. He is the second minister to fall from the Cabinet of interim President Michel Temer. Planning Minister Romero Jucá stepped down last week after a recording from the same leaked tapes was broadcast. The recordings were made by a former employee of the oil company, Sergio Machado, as a part of a plea bargain. Transparency International also called for Silveira’s resignation.
Temer temporarily took over the presidency from Dilma Rousseff on May 12, when she was suspended for 180 days pending an impeachment trial. Her trial is for violating budget laws.
Brazil’s politics is in a crisis as eight of the new cabinet members have been indicted for corruption or other similar offence. Some of those who voted for impeachment of Dilma Rousseff are changing their mind. There is also the possibility that President Michel Temer could be indicted for corruption or other serious crimes.
Brazil ranks 76 out of 168 countries in Transparency International Corruption Perception Index. Former President Dilma Rousseff claimed that her impeachment was to hinder the investigations into mass corruption in the country.
The national oil company Petrobras has been the major source of corruption in Brazil. The oil company’s executives colluded with construction companies to overcharge for the work done. The overcharged money went to kickbacks and payoffs to company executives, politicians and political parties, including Rousseff’s Workers’ Party.
Dilma Rousseff has not been indicted on any charges but during her tenure in Petrobras, there was rampant corruption. Brazilians now realise that by impeaching Dilma Rousseff for corruption, they have an even more corrupt president. If two more ministers in the interim government fall, the government will collapse. Then Dilma Rousseff may come back to power.
Brazil: Corruption leading to a political crisis
31 May 2015