Clown heads for congress

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS -

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

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