Brazil’s Lula Promises No Stone Unturned in Corruption Probe

    Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva promised Monday that in the fight against corruption he will leave “no stone unturned” and will prove to the country and his political allies his commitment to end with “this evil”.

    “As far as the Executive branch is concerned we’ll leave no stone unturned, we’ll investigate to the very end”, said Mr. Lula da Silva in his weekly program “Coffee with the President”.


    President Lula da Silva recalled that during the weekend forum on combating corruption he promised he would not hesitate to “cut his own flesh” to fight corrupt officials and any financial irregularities which meant deviation of funds from development.


    “I will also take the opportunity to do what ever is needed in Brazil to show the Brazilian people that it’s possible to combat and put an end to corruption,” he stressed.


    President Lula da Silva is preparing a cabinet reshuffle to solve the crisis triggered last month when a member of the ruling coalition, the president of the small Labor Party, Roberto Jefferson, was accused of manipulating funds, bribes and funnelling resources.


    However Mr. Jefferson last weekend revealed that Mr. Lula da Silva’s party regularly paid Congress members to ensure their loyalty and votes, and insisted that José Dirceu, cabinet chief and one of the president’s main advisors was involved in the distribution of funds provided by private and government companies.


    “The press plays a leading role when they publish these things, but I regret they don’t mention names of suspects or companies”, said President Lula da Silva, because it would make the investigation so much faster and easier.


    Mr. Lula da Silva said the Executive was doing its share in combating corruption and called on the other branches, Legislative and Judiciary to proceed in a similar manner so “we can reach the level of Italy when they had the “mani puliti” (clean hands) operation against organized crime”.


    Last week, Lula sacked the top officials from two government institutions supposedly involved in corruption practices (Post Office and Reinsurance Institute) and called on Congress to approve legislation making political campaign financing more transparent.


    Apparently in last year’s mid term and governors’ election over two million US dollars were handed out to smaller parties, which surprisingly increased considerably their numbers in Congress.


    Additionally, regular monthly payments of US$ 12,500 were handed out to several Congressmen with the purpose of a “quick approval of legislation”, all of which was managed by “Zé” Dirceu, according to Deputy Jefferson, who this Tuesday will be questioned by a special Congressional committee.


    This article appeared originally in Mercopress – www.mercopress.com.

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