Brazilian coup leader finally forced to resign

The circus that is Brazilian politics took another turn today with the resignation of the legislative coup that ousted now-suspended President Dilma Rousseff making his getaway in the face of possible criminal prosecution.

From teleSUR English:

Brazil’s suspended house speaker Eduardo Cunha, who spearheaded the scheme to oust suspended President Dilma Rousseff, has resigned as speaker of the country’s lower house, according to Folha de S. Paulo Thursday.

Cunha is still being investigated forcorruption and perjury allegations, and had been facing suspension from the lower housing. Prior to his resignation, submitted in a two page letter, Cunha’s lawyers presented a request for habeas corpus to the Supreme Courtas he looked to guard himself against being booted from his post.

The embattled lawmaker had been refusing to step down, despite calls from his fellow PMDB party members to resign.

Cunha, a key architect in painting the impeachment process against President Dilma Rouseff,has being investigated for lying about hiding over US$5 million in laundered money in secret Swiss bank accounts. He was suspended from his position as chief of the lower house by the Supreme Court last month over accusations of intimidating lawmakers and hampering investigations, and still faces an 8 year ban from elected office.

A congressional ethics committee voted in favor of impeaching the lawmaker, and the vote will now pass to the lower house.

More from Agence France-Presse:

Cunha is accused of taking bribes as part of a massive corruption scheme centered on Petrobras, the huge state oil company. Dozens of politicians and top executives have been charged, or in some cases already found guilty and jailed.

Cunha is also being investigated by the congressional ethics committee over allegedly lying to Congress about possessing secret Swiss bank accounts.

Highlighting the seemingly endless circles of corruption scandals engulfing Brazil, the congressional deputy who has been filling in for Cunha during his suspension, Waldir Maranhao Cardoso, is himself being investigated for alleged Petrobras-related crimes, including money laundering.

A new, permanent speaker of the lower house will now be elected.


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