Brazil’s Supreme Court has been asked by Attorney General Rodrigo Janot to authorize the start of corruption investigations against prominent opposition leader Aecio Neves.
Senator Aecio Neves, who narrowly lost the 2014 election to President Dilma Rousseff, was previously included in a list of some 50 politicians thought to have taken bribes originating from state-run companies, including electricity company Furnas.
The case is linked to the huge corruption scandal that has rocked Brazilian politics over the past year.
Aecio Neves denies any wrongdoing.
If the Supreme Court agrees to open an investigation, the senator will be called to testify within 90 days, Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper reported.
The case is based on allegations made by Senator Delcidio Amaral as part of a plea bargain.
A former leader of the Workers’ Party in the Senate, Delcidio Amaral was arrested in November.
Senator Delcidio Amaral had been secretly recorded allegedly discussing plans to help a detained official flee Brazil in return for not implicating him in a major corruption scandal at Petrobras.
He was released in February after he agreed to testify against other suspects.
Delcidio Amaral said that Aecio Neves had received bribes from officials at Furnas.
He said the scheme was similar to that operated at Petrobras: Brazil’s top construction companies paid bribes to politicians, political parties and senior executives at the company in order to secure lucrative overpriced contracts.
Aecio Neves’s office rejected the allegations, with an aide telling reporters: “References to Senator Aecio’s name are all based on hearsay. There is no proof or evidence of any irregularity.
“These are old questions that have already been the subject of previous investigations, which were thrown out, or questions that have no relation to the senator.”
Rodrigo Janot has also requested the opening of a corruption probe against other senior politicians and officials, the Speaker of the lower house of Congress, Eduardo Cunha, and President Dilma Rousseff’s press secretary Edinho Silva.
Brazil’s incumbent President Dilma Rousseff has been re-elected for a second term after securing more than 51% of votes in the closest election race in many years.
An official count showed Dilma Rousseff’s rival, centrist candidate Aecio Neves, taking just over 48% of the vote.
In her victory speech, Dilma Rousseff said she wanted to be “a much better president than I have been until now”.
She faced protests last year against corruption, record spending on the football World Cup and poor services.
Dilma Rousseff, who has been in power since 2010, is popular with poor Brazilians thanks to her government’s welfare programs.
The vote split Latin America’s biggest country almost evenly in two, along lines of social class and geography.
Dilma Rousseff called on all Brazilians “to unite in favor of Brazil’s future” and said she would seek political reform.
“This president is open to dialogue. This is the top priority of my second mandate,” she told a cheering crowd in the capital, Brasilia.
Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff has been re-elected for a second term after securing more than 51 percent of votes in the closest election race in many years
She also thanked her supporters, especially her political mentor and predecessor Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
“I thank from the bottom of my heart our number one militant, President Lula.”
Dilma Rousseff’s re-election for a second term extends the rule of her Workers Party (PT), which came to power in 2002 with President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
Aecio Neves, of the Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB), admitted defeat in a speech to supporters in the southern city of Belo Horizonte.
He thanked the “more than 50 million Brazilians” who voted for him and said he had telephoned the re-elected president.
“I… wished her success in the administration of her next government, and I reaffirmed what I feel should be our greatest priority, to unite Brazil on the basis of an honorable project which dignifies all Brazilians,” he said at the rally.
Aecio Neves was the governor of the southern swing-state of Minas Gerais for eight years.
Both he and Dilma Rousseff had made economic growth and lifting Brazilians out of poverty central to their election campaigns.
Brazilians are voting in the second round of the presidential election in what correspondents say is the tightest vote the country has seen in decades.
Incumbent left-leaning President Dilma Rousseff of the Workers Party (PT) faces centrist Aecio Neves of the Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB) in the second run-off round.
Both candidates have pledged to kick-start Latin America’s largest economy and make it more competitive.
The latest opinion polls showed President Dilma Rousseff with a slight lead over the opposition candidate.
A survey by pollster Datafolha gave Dilma Rousseff 52% voter support against 48% for Aecio Neves.
A separate survey by polling firm Ibope gave the incumbent 53% against 47% for her challenger.
Both polls had a margin of error of plus or minus 2%.
Leftist President Dilma Rousseff faces centrist Aecio Neves in the second run-off round of Brazil’s presidential election
Poor Brazilians, particularly in the impoverished northeast, remain loyal to Dilma Rousseff thanks to her party’s trademark welfare programs, such as the Bolsa Familia grant scheme.
Dilma Rousseff obtained her largest support there in the first round of the presidential election on 5 October, with almost 60% of votes.
But wealthy Brazilians, who are against interventionist economic policies such as petrol price controls and high taxes, favor instead business-friendly Aecio Neves.
Aecio Neves is regarded in the financial markets as someone to put the economy back on track, after four years of low growth rates with the country now technically in recession.
More than 140 million Brazilians will vote on October 26, but correspondents say much will depend on who wins the middle-class vote in the industrialized southeast.
On October 25, Aecio Neves campaigned in his native state, where he served two terms as governor, and paid a visit to the grave of his grandfather Tancredo, who was elected president in 1985 but died before taking office.
Dilma Rousseff, who has been serving as Brazil’s first woman president since 2010, spent instead the last day of campaigning in her southern stronghold of Porto Alegre, the capital of Rio Grande do Sul, where she held a rally.
The vote is widely seen as a referendum on 12 years of government by her Workers Party.
The PT came to power in 2002 with Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva as president.
Its policies are credited with lifting an estimated 40 million Brazilians out of extreme poverty.
However, President Dilma Rousseff’s government has faced allegations of corruption and of overspending in preparations for this year’s football World Cup.
She also presided over rising inflation and a recession this year.
The election comes after weeks of intensive campaigning by the two candidates and a presidential race that turned dramatic after Eduardo Campos, a main opposition candidate, was killed in a plane crash in August.
His running mate, a renowned environmentalist, Marina Silva, was thrust into his spot, vowing to become the South American country’s first “poor, black” president.
Marina Silva came third in the first round after Dilma Rousseff and Aecio Neves secured 41.5% and 33.5% of the vote respectively.
[youtube D-vtpOqUxBk 650]
Brazil’s presidential candidates have taken part in the first TV debate of the campaign.
Incumbent President Dilma Rousseff faced her main rivals Marina Silva of the Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB) and Aecio Neves of the PSDB.
Dilma Rousseff is ahead in the polls for the October 5 election but analysts predict it will go to a second round.
Marina Silva has replaced the former PSB candidate Eduardo Campos, who died in a plane crash earlier this month.
In the much-anticipated debate, President Dilama Rousseff defended her government’s popular social programs but blamed the international economic crisis for the country’s slowing economy.
Marina Silva spoke passionately about the need for widespread political reform and to remove power from the hands of traditional elites.
The latest opinion polls in Brazilian media on Tuesday showed Marina Silva had narrowed Dilma Rousseff’s lead to 34%, down from 38% in early August.
It gave Marina Silva 29% of voter support and Aecio Neves 19%.
Brazil’s presidential candidates have taken part in the first TV debate of the campaign (photo AFP)
The poll, published by O Estado de Sao Paulo newspaper, has a margin of error of plus or minus 3%.
Tuesday’s televised debate also includes candidates Eduardo Jorge (PV), Levy Fidelix (PRTB), Luciana Genro (PSOL) and Pastor Everaldo (PSC).
Dilma Rousseff is seeking re-election with the Workers’ Party (PT).
Marina Silva used to be a member of the PT during the government of Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, but has since become a stern critic.
A former environment minister, Marina Silva ran for president in 2010 for the tiny Green Party and secured 19 million votes, but was knocked out in the first round.
Marina Silva decided to run for vice-president alongside Eduardo Campos after the Electoral Court in October 2013 refused to register her political movement, Rede Sustentabilidade (The Sustainability Network).
However, Marina Silva was appointed as the PSB’s main candidate after his sudden death.
Eduardo Campos died after a private jet crashed in bad weather in the port city of Santos, Sao Paulo state, while travelling from Rio de Janeiro to the seaside resort of Guaruja.
Brazil’s presidential election will go to a second round later in October if no candidate gets more than 50% of the votes.
Privacy & Cookies Policy
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.