Clown heads for congress
SAO PAULO: A television clown elected to Brazil’s congress can take up his lawmaker duties after barely passing a literacy test, the judge overseeing the exam said this week.
Francisco Oliveira, 45, a comic better known by his stage name Tiririca, demonstrated “a minimum of intellect concerning the content (of a text) despite difficulties in writing”, the Sao Paulo regional electoral court judge, Aloisio de Silveira, said.
That result disproved critics who claimed Oliveira could neither read nor write as required of a member of congress under Brazil’s constitution. “The electoral court considers someone to be ineligible only if they are totally illiterate,” the judge said.
Oliveira was elected as a Sao Paulo federal representative in October legislative polls with 1.3 million ballots – the most of any of candidate across the country.
He ran a humorous television campaign dressed as a clown and spouting riffs like “What does a federal deputy do? I have no idea – but vote for me and I’ll let you know.”’– Sapa-AFP