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Brazil’s Lower House Speaker Eduardo Cunha has been suspended by the Supreme Court, following a request by the country’s attorney general, officials say.

Eduardo Cunha has been accused of trying to obstruct a corruption investigation against him and intimidating lawmakers.

He is an outspoken critic of President Dilma Rousseff and has led an impeachment drive against her.

Next week, the Senate is due to vote on whether to launch an impeachment trial against Dilma Rousseff.Eduardo Cunha corruption

If a simple majority votes in favor, Dilma Rousseff will be suspended from office for 180 days while Vice-President Michel Temer takes over as interim president.

Under Brazil’s constitution, Eduardo Cunha was the next in line for the presidency after Michel Temer, who is facing impeachment proceedings on charges similar to those facing Dilma Rousseff.

Dilma Rousseff has accused Michel Temer and Eduardo Cunha, who belong to the opposition PMDB party, of being the ringleaders of a “coup attempt” against her.

Eduardo Cunha is suspected of obstructing an investigation into allegations he took $5 million in bribes from companies seeking to secure contracts with state-oil giant Petrobras, which he denies.

Petrobras is at the centre of a massive kickbacks scandal which has led to the arrest of dozens of lawmakers and top businessmen.

Waldir Maranhao, who is also under investigation for his alleged role in the Petrobras corruption scandal, is to become the next Speaker of the House.


Brazil’s lower house of Congress has opened impeachment proceedings against President Dilma Rousseff.

The process is based on allegations Dilma Rousseff broke the law in managing 2014 budget, President of the Chamber of Deputies Eduardo Cunha said.

Despite re-election in 2014, Dilma Rousseff’s popularity has slumped amid a corruption scandal involving the state-owned oil giant, Petrobras.

“I was outraged by the decision,” the president said in a televised speech.

“I haven’t committed any wrongful act,” she added.

Dilma Rousseff, who earlier called an emergency cabinet meeting, said she was confident that the impeachment motion would be rejected.

Two-thirds of the lower house must approve the process for it to proceed.

The governing coalition has a majority in the lower house of Congress.Dilma Rousseff impeachment 2015

The defeated opposition candidate in last year’s presidential election, Senator Aecio Neves, has tweeted that he supports the impeachment request.

“Everyone in the country must obey the law, especially the president,” he wrote.

Eduardo Cunha is himself facing corruption allegations, which he denies.

He has been accused of lying about a secret bank account in Switzerland.

An ethics committee is voting on whether to authorize action to eject him from his post of speaker.

Eduardo Cunha had been threatening to open impeachment proceedings if the governing party did not offer him backing.

His decision was “purely technical”, he said.

“It was a difficult decision. I did not become speaker of the Chamber of Deputies aiming to approve impeachment proceedings against the president,” said Eduardo Cunha.

The impeachment request had been filed by a distinguished jurist, Helio Bicudo, and some opposition members.

The document blames the government for the corruption scandal at Petrobras and says Dilma Rousseff violated Brazil’s fiscal responsibility laws.

In October an audit court ruled that Dilma Rousseff had borrowed money illegally from state banks to make up for budget shortfalls.

On December 1, the economy minister announced that Brazil’s economy shrank by 1.7% in the Q3 of 2015 compared with the second quarter, deepening the country’s worst recession in 25 years.

Compared with a year ago, the economy is 4.5% smaller.

The corruption scandal at Petrobras was partly to blame for the downturn, said Economy Minister Joaquim Levy.

The speaker of Brazil’s lower house of Congress, Eduardo Cunha, is being accused of keeping millions of dollars in foreign bank accounts, Brazilian prosecutors say.

According to prosecutors, the money was obtained illegally and not declared.

Eduardo Cunha denies the charges and says he is being unfairly targeted by the Prosecutor’s Office.

He has been leading calls for the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff, but he is now facing calls from other parties to step down.Eduardo Cunha corruption

As speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, Eduardo Cunha holds the power to allow impeachment proceedings against Dilma Rousseff.

The main opposition parties made public a demand last week for Eduardo Cunha to resign.

A request for his resignation had already come from government supporters in Congress.

Eduardo Cunha is being investigated for alleged corruption in a kick-back scheme at the state run oil company, Petrobras.

Brazil’s Supreme Court ruled on October 15 that the Prosecutor’s Office was allowed to investigate allegations of corruption against Eduardo Cunha.

Prosecutors said on October 16 that Eduardo Cunha hid millions of dollars in Swiss accounts opened in his wife’s and his children’s names.

“There is sufficient proof that the foreign bank accounts were not declared and that at least in relation to Eduardo Cunha the money was obtained illegally,” said a Prosecutor’s Office statement.

A Brazilian audit court ruled earlier this month that President Dilma Rousseff broke the law in managing last year’s budget.

Dilma Rousseff was accused of borrowing money illegally from state banks to make up for budget shortfalls.

Government supporters say calls for an impeachment less than a year after Dilma Rousseff was re-elected are tantamount to a coup attempt.