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Brazil: Senate President Renan Calheiros Takes Leave Of Absence To Fight Corruption Charges

LADB Article ID: 51270
Category/Department: Brazil
Date: 2007-10-26
By: LADB Staff

Embattled Brazilian Sen. Renan Calheiros stepped down from the presidency of the upper house of Brazil's Congress for a period of 45 days to defend himself against corruption allegations. On Oct. 11, Calheiros formally announced that he would take a leave of absence from the Senate presidency after battling charges since May (see NotiSur, 2007-09-14). The administration of President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, closely allied with Calheiros, has expressed hope that removing him from the center of congressional power will allow legislative projects to move forward. Senate vice president Tiao Viana of Lula's Partido dos Trabalhadores (PT) took over Calheiros' office. Key allies stop supporting Calheiros Calheiros, a 52-year-old member of the Partido do Movimento Democratico Brasileiro (PMDB) from the northeastern state of Alagoas, is part of the governing coalition Lula has sewn together in the two houses of Brazil's Congress. He faces accusations that he allowed lobbyists to funnel money to different interests of his.

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