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Issue #1739      July 13, 2016

Brazil

Coup leader quits over corruption

Brazilian Congress Speaker Eduardo Cunha – who led the legislative coup against suspended President Dilma Rousseff – quit last week over corruption allegations.

The turncoat Chamber of Deputies president wept as he read out his resignation letter to journalists, surrounded by his fellow putschists.

“I have suffered and continue to suffer persecution,” Cunha claimed. “I’m paying a high price for initiating the impeachment process.”

Cunha was suspended in May over allegations of obstructing justice and corruption, including holding Swiss bank accounts worth millions of dollars from bribes.

He led the impeachment drive against Workers’ Party President Rousseff even as he was under investigation in the Car Wash probe into the £9 billion bribery scandal at state oil company Petrobras.

Cunha has repeatedly denied any involvement in the corruption scandal.

During his speech, the former speaker said he was “proud” of opening proceedings against his erstwhile coalition government ally Rousseff, adding that his decision “will never be forgotten.”

But his resignation is seen as a cynical attempt to avoid a vote to eject him from his seat in congress, which grants him immunity from prosecution.

“Only my resignation can put an end to this endless instability. The lower house cannot wait forever,” he said.

Cunha is a member of the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB) of Vice-President Michel Temer, who will become the next president if the Senate votes to impeach Rousseff in August.

But the two-month old government has been rocked by revelations of ministers and senators conspiring to block the Car Wash probe, leading to several cabinet resignations.

Morning Star

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