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Brazilian Labour minister embattled in corruption claims says he won’t resign

Wednesday, November 9th 2011 - 07:06 UTC
Full article 3 comments
Carlos Lupi alleges he has the support from President Rousseff Carlos Lupi alleges he has the support from President Rousseff

Brazil's labour minister vowed on Tuesday not to become the sixth minister to quit over corruption allegations this year, saying he has the support of President Dilma Rousseff and his own party.

Carlos Lupi is the latest minister to come under the media spotlight over alleged wrongdoing, worsening a political headache for Rousseff that has distracted the government's attention from pushing economic reform bills through Congress.

Weekly magazine Veja, citing unidentified lawmakers and officials, reported on Saturday that advisers to Lupi had demanded kickbacks on government contracts with nongovernmental organizations, or NGOs.

Lupi has denied having any involvement in the misuse of public funds at his ministry. Unlike some other officials caught up in the anti-corruption sentiment sweeping Brazil, he has not been directly linked to any wrongdoing.

“It would take a bullet to get me out,” he told reporters after meeting with members of his centre-left PDT party, part of Rousseff's unruly 16-party coalition. “I guarantee you it won't happen.”

He said that Rousseff, who took office on Jan. 1, had told him to continue defending himself.

The PDT released a statement saying he had the party's full support, although several leading members have called for the federal prosecutor's office to open an investigation.

Relations between NGOs – non-profit groups that perform activities such as worker training -- have been at the centre of at least two of the corruption scandals that have unseated five ministers this year. A sixth minister quit after making disparaging remarks about his colleagues.

Several of this year's scandals have followed a similar pattern -- initial denials by ministers followed by fresh allegations in the media and the eventual withdrawal of support by Rousseff.

The resignations have yet to harm Rousseff, who has benefited from a perception she is being tough on corruption. They have also helped her to put her own stamp on the government as she replaces ministers inherited from the previous administration of Lula da Silva.

Categories: Politics, Brazil.

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  • GeoffWard2

    'Plausible deniability'
    “I was just the fall-guy”
    So many reasons why the Minister did not know what was going on in his ministry.

    He probably thought that it was a 'clean' ministry, and that there was no kick-backs or passage of money from the Ministry of Labor budget into the ONGs (NGOs) specifically set up to facilitate the transfer money via a paper-trail into party funds - in this case the Labour Party (PDT).

    He might be 'wide-eyed and innocent' - after all, Lula claimed he knew nothing about the continuous corrupt transfers across ALL his ministries of state!

    Lupi claims he is the fall guy -
    what he is really saying is 'We are all doing it, why should I be the unlucky one to get punished?'

    Nov 09th, 2011 - 02:39 pm 0
  • Fido Dido

    I think, soon he will resign (under pressure of the president) and life goes on. if he's guilty, he goes to jail, if he's not, he won't go to jail but he's out.

    “He might be 'wide-eyed and innocent' - after all, Lula claimed he knew nothing about the continuous corrupt transfers across ALL his ministries of state!”

    Politicians, there are no 100% honest politicians. doesn't exist on this planet.

    Nov 09th, 2011 - 10:24 pm 0
  • GeoffWard2

    I agree Fido, but there are different strata of dishonesty.

    Brasil, without the continuous application of its constitutional legal duty to maintain the checks and balanced necessary to ethically manage national budgets dispersed to ministries to deploy, is wide open to stratospheric levels of corruption.

    I also agree that, in any country, lax controls will lead to abuse.

    Brasil has suffered from leaders who prefer the *freedom* of lax controls and the corrupt society that it brings. This freedom from scrutiny and being held to account allows politicians to buy support easily*, thus maintaining their power-base and their power.

    *There is no other reason than this to understand why the electoral process in Brasil is a frantic scramble to be a continuous part of every coalition government.
    The gift of ministries and their ministerial budgets to individual political parties keeps them in line and maintains the gravy-train on the never-ending corrupt track.

    It's only when somebody like Rousseff, who has not been part of the political class, and is (hopefully) not on the gravy-train, comes along that the equilibrium of corruption is disturbed and there is some chance of change.

    If the nation WANTS uncorrupt government there are few opportunities and times that present themselves. This is one. The Ficha Limpa is its manifestation, and Rousseff needs all the support that the people can give her.

    Nov 10th, 2011 - 11:14 am 0
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