Transparency International said today that the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies must elect its new leader in an open and transparent way that ensures absolute accountability for the decision while promoting the rule of law and democracy.
The Chamber of Deputies is about to choose its next leader, presenting a unique opportunity for the Brazilian political class to escape the vicious cycle of corruption that envelops the institution while demonstrating an honest intention to stop rampant corruption.
“At such a critical time for the Brazilian political class, the Brazilian economy, and its citizens, Brazil cannot afford another secret deal done behind closed doors," said Alejandro Salas, Director for the Americas at Transparency International.
“Candidates for the leadership of the Brazilian Lower House must publicly state their agendas and interests. They must adopt the Open Parliament guidelines so the Brazilian Congress becomes an appropriate and trusted forum for national debate on anti-corruption measures and other necessary efforts to strengthen transparency and Brazil’s beleaguered democracy,” Salas added.
In the midst of a political and economic crisis, the Congress has an important role to play in creating reforms to solve the crisis. This includes strengthening legislation that increases the investigative power of prosecutors and the sanctioning power of the judiciary. It includes passing the “10 Measures against Corruption” bill, which has the support of 2 million Brazilians.
The Speaker of the House will play a crucial role in this respect. It is at his or her discretion to establish the voting agenda. It is also that person’s duty to follow due process when a Congressmen is accused of corruption, avoiding unreasonable postponements. This includes finalizing the process against the former Speaker of the House, Eduardo Cunha, who has been formally accused of corruption, intimidation of lawmakers, obstruction of justice and abuse of power. The process to remove Cunha has taken far longer than it should.
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