Brazil Lula’s Top Advisor Knew of Vote Buying, Says Head of Labor Party

    Private and government companies helped financed the “vote buying” in the Brazilian Congress revealed the Lower House representative who first talked about the explosive issue to the newspaper with the largest circulation in Brazil.

    In an interview with Folha do S. Paulo, Roberto Jefferson said that the Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva administration made “monthly payments” of US$ 12,000 to members of Congress with funds provided by private and government owned companies to Delúbio Soares, Treasurer of the ruling Workers Party and accused of actually delivering the bribes.


    In the interview Mr. Jefferson does not identify the companies involved but reveals that the money was paid cash.


    “As far as I know the money arrived in Brasí­lia in briefcases,” said the Brazilian federal Deputy.


    However Mr. Jefferson denied he had material evidence of the payments or tapes to support his claims.


    “I can say I saw it done,” added Mr. Jefferson who on Tuesday will be grilled in Congress over the matter. “I’ll talk about facts and conversations I had”.


    Mr. Jefferson added that José Genoí­no head of the Workers Party and José Dirceu chief political advisor in President Lula da Silva’s cabinet “were aware of the payments”, but “I can’t say the same about active participation from the President”.


    “Several times I talked about the bribes with Genoí­no and Soares in Dirceu’s office”, insisted Mr. Jefferson.


    Last Wednesday Genoí­no and Soares, (responsible for funds collecting in the presidential campaign of 2002) denied the accusations which they described as “political extortion”.


    Mr. Jefferson is head of the Brazilian Labor Party, a right wing grouping which last week broke off from the ruling coalition following the charges.


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

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