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Lula da Silva says “espionage plot” on opposition candidate is a ‘set up’

Thursday, June 10th 2010 - 18:28 UTC
Full article
Former governor of Sao Paulo, target of the alleged spy plot Former governor of Sao Paulo, target of the alleged spy plot

Brazilian president Lula da Silva talked for the first time about the alleged espionage plot against opposition presidential candidate Jose Serra and described the whole operation as an ‘absurd set up’ with electoral purposes.

“I will not talk about the issue because the (media) article is totally absurd, a fabrication, a set up”, said president Lula da Silva.

According to the article from Veja magazine (with the largest circulation in Brazil), advisors from incumbent presidential candidate Dilma Rousseff and in representation of the Workers Party proposed to a retired police intelligence officer that he spy on Serra, the candidate from the Brazilian Social Democracy party and the main opponent of Ms Rousseff.

PSDB Lower House member Gustavo Fruet anticipated he would request a formal investigation from Congress and will file a claim before the Electoral Court.

“Who ever is nervous, irritated, who ever is concerned about the spy plot case, let him remain concerned. I am concerned about ruling Brazil until December 31”, said Lula da Silva quoted by Folha de Sao Paulo.

Because of the alleged plot to monitor and intercept candidate Serra’s and advisors’ phone calls, Luiz Lanzetta, head of Media relations from the Rousseff campaign team was forced to resign last Saturday.

Allegedly journalist Lanzetta and businessman Benedito Oliveira Neto, who works closely with government, offered 900.000 US dollars to the former police officer to follow and tap his phone calls according to PSDB.

The Brazilian opposition also indicated it will summon advisors from US President Obama’s electoral campaign to consult them on the nature of the contract they signed with Brazil’s Workers Party.

With less than four months to October 3, both Rousseff and Serra are tied with 37% vote support according to the latest public opinion polls.
The espionage plot has been described by the media as a ‘mini-Watergate” Brazilian style.

Categories: Politics, Brazil.

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