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Brazil Pushes to Give Civil Servants Raise Despite Electoral Law

Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has asked Minister of Planning, Paulo Bernardo, to meet with the chief justice of the Election Board (presidente do Tribunal Superior Eleitoral), Marco Aurélio Mello, and see if it is possible to raise civil servant salaries.

"If the court prohibits the increase I will not fight the decision, I will comply," declared Lula.

However, he added that he did not understand "Why civil servants should be punished because we are going to have elections. This is a salary adjustment that was in our budget proposal. It is not our fault that the budget was only approved in April. We could not give salary increases until we had budget approval."

Last week the Election Board ruled that salary increases are prohibited 180 days before an election (Brazil has a general election this year in October), with the exception of adjustments for inflation.

ABr

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