Man who got Rouss­eff im­peached may be voted out by his peers

The Myanmar Times - - World -

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.

Photo: EPA

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.

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