Fallen Brazil’s Chief of Staff Says his Hands Are Clean

    José Dirceu, in a speech announcing his resignation as Presidential Chief of Staff, declared that he will now return to his seat in the Chamber of Deputies as a federal deputy representing the state of São Paulo.

    The former presidential top adviser says that in the Lower House he will have a chance to clarify the “baseless accusations” that have recently been made against his person, his party and the government.


    Dirceu stated that he was not leaving the administration. “I will continue to govern the country from my seat in the Chamber of Deputies,” he declared, adding, “The administration of Lula is my passion and my life.”


    He pointed out that the Lula administration is dealing with important matters such as social and economic reforms. “In the Congress I will be able to explain these important issues to the country and public opinion.”


    In his farewell speech, Dirceu thanked his family for standing beside during the time he was in the government.


    “I am not ashamed of anything I did while I was a minister… My hands are clean, my heart is not bitter and my head is held high… My party and I have an ethical heritage that is public knowledge.


    “I intend to defend that heritage. And I want to ask all those who have worked with me and helped me to continue the good work and prepare for any further instructions from the President,” said Dirceu.


    As for the PT, Dirceu declared that he would stand side by side with the PT president, José Genoí­no, and “combat those who seek to interrupt the democratic process wherever necessary… I know how to fight. And I am humble enough to return to my seat in the Chamber of Deputies.”


    The leader of the government in the Senate, Aloizio Mercadante, declared that Dirceu’s decision to leave the government and return to the Congress was “a gesture of humility and political grandeur.”


    Mercadante said that by doing so Dirceu protected the government and the party, while giving himself time to prove his innocence.


    Dirceu has been accused by deputy Roberto Jefferson, leader of the PTB party, of involvement in the payment of a monthly allowance to congressmen in the PL and PP to ensure that they would vote with the government.


    ABr – www.radiobras.gov.br

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