Brazil top court puts presidential impeachment efforts on hold

Brazil top court puts presidential impeachment efforts on hold

[JURIST] Brazil’s Supreme Court [official website, in Portuguese] on Tuesday issued [press release, in Portuguese] an injunction [text, PDF, in Portuguese] freezing opposition party efforts to start impeachment deliberations against President Dilma Rousseff [BBC profile]. Despite the injunction, lower house speaker Eduardo Cunha [official profile, in Spanish] said that he would continue to review impeachment requests. However, the Supreme Court’s ruling allows Rousseff some time to gather support in Congress pending a decision by Dunha on initiating proceedings.

Brazil has been the subject of several corruption scandals in both politics and business in recent years. Last week Brazil’s Federal Accounts Court (TCU) [official website, in Portuguese] determined that [JURIST report] Rousseff’s government accounting practices were illegal. Last month a Brazil court sentenced [JURIST report] former treasurer of the country’s governing Worker’s Party Joao Vaccari Neto to 15 years and four months in jail for charges stemming from his connection to the Petrobras corruption scandal. Vaccari was found guilty of corruption, money laundering and conspiracy, having accepted at least USD $1 million in bribes from the oil company. Earlier in September the Federal Supreme Court of Brazil banned [JURIST report] corporate entities from providing funding to political candidates in the future in an attempt to prevent further corruption, calling the practice unconstitutional. In August Brazil’s attorney general brought charges [JURIST report] against Eduardo Cunha, current speaker of the lower house of congress, and former president now senator Fernando Collor de Mello, who served as president of Brazil from 1990-92.