Man who got Rousseff impeached may be voted out by his peers
EDUARDO Cunha, Brazil’s scandalplagued former congressional speaker who spearheaded the drive to remove president Dilma Rousseff from office, could be stripped of his seat if his peers vote him out.
Mr Cunha, who is often compared to the dark, manipulative hero Frank Underwood of the hit Netflix series House of Cards, used his position as speaker of the lower house to put Ms Rousseff on an unstoppable path to impeachment.
But the 58-year-old conservative lawmaker allied with Congress’s Evangelical Christian wing resigned from his position as speaker in July amid swirling accusations of corruption linked to the huge state oil company Petrobras.
Mr Cunha is being prosecuted for allegedly taking millions of dollars in bribes. He will face the music in Congress for having “lied” to other lawmakers about his possession of secret Swiss bank accounts. Mr Cunha denies all wrongdoing.
He was first suspended in May, less than a month after lawmakers voted to open impeachment proceedings against Ms Rousseff who was removed from office on August 31, and replaced by her centre-right vice president Michel Temer.
Mr Cunha has used a variety of stalling tactics to slow the proceedings that could lead to his ouster from Congress. Analysts say he will play his final card by asking his peers to delay a vote on his fate until after October municipal elections.
He may argue for a simple suspension rather than the loss of his seat, or he could ask lawmakers to allow him to keep the right to hold public office. But recent polls showed many of Mr Cunha’s allies have deserted him.
The suspended speaker of Brazil’s lower house of Congress Eduardo Cunha attends Congress in Brasilia. Mr Cunha could lose his seat as part of an internal legislative process.