Brazil’s New House Speaker Denies Lula Interference in Election

    Following his election as Brazil’s Speaker of the House last night, Aldo Rebelo (PCdoB, Partido Comunista do Brasil, São Paulo) answered questions about the use of government appropriations to sway votes and the presence of cabinet members influencing the outcome. He also talked about deals with political parties and the hearings on motions to expel deputies.

    "Government expenditures occur on a daily basis. It is inevitable that sometimes a vote in Congress will coincide with the release of government funds. As for cabinet members visiting Congress, that is a question of whether they came here on their own or were sent by the government. I do not believe the government is involved in the decisions we make here in the Congress. I will not allow the interference of other branches of government," declared Rebelo.

    He firmly denied any deals with political parties to ensure his victory and said that with regard to the expulsion processes, he intends to be fair and just. "Everyone will have the right to defend themselves and the proper commissions will be able to move ahead with their investigations," he concluded.

    Rebelo was elected the new president of the Chamber of Deputies when he received 258 votes in a runoff election with deputy José Thomaz Nonô (PFL, Alagoas), who had 243 votes. There were six votes that were blank and two others that were annulled.

    In the first vote yesterday afternoon, both Rebelo and Nonô received exactly 182 votes each.

    Agência Brasil

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