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Friday, October 7, 2022

Brazil: Eduardo Cunha’s Return

The former President of the Chamber and deputy had his mandate revoked in 2016, due to accusations of passive corruption and money laundering. A former militant of the MDB, Eduardo Cunha is now back in political life. He can now run for the 2022 elections as a member of PTB.

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João Ruy Faustino
João Ruy Faustino
João Ruy is a Portuguese freelancer who writes about European political actuality for The European Times. He is also a contributor for Revista BANG! and a former writer for Central Comics and Bandas Desenhadas.

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The former President of the Chamber and deputy Eduardo Cunha, had his mandate revoked in 2016, due to accusations of passive corruption and money laundering. A former militant of the MDB, Eduardo Cunha is now back in political life. He can now run for the 2022 elections as a member of PTB.

Eduardo Cunha was one of the most powerful and influential figures in Brazilian politics when he was President of the Chamber of Deputies. So powerful, in fact, that he was one of the main orchestrators of Dilma Roussef’s (PT) impeachment in August 2016. The process gave way to Michel Temer’s (MDB) presidency. 

Shortly after the impeachment, however, in September, Eduardo Cunha had his mandate revoked, for the reasons already cited. The nullification was approved in the Chamber by 450 votes, which was considered a “major loss to Cunha” at the time. It was the longest process of its kind, lasting 11 months. 

The formal accusation against Cunha was that he lied to the Investigative Parliamentary Commission (CPI) on Petrobras about having bank accounts in Switzerland. The former deputy was supposed to not be politically active until 2027.

However, the Regional Federal Court of the 1st Region (TRF-1) released Cunha from his sentence, making him eligible to contest elections. – “The change comes after an injunction granted by judge Carlos Augusto Pires Brandão (…), which suspends the legal effects of a resolution of the Chamber that determined the ineligibility of Cunha and the prohibition of holding federal positions. Although effective immediately, the determination is provisional and it will be up to the Court to evaluate the defense’s request. – According to PTB’s official site.

Cunha’s lawyer, Mr. Fábio Luiz Bragança Ferreira, said: “The injunction granted by TRF-1 recognizes something we have been advocating for some time: that the sanctioning action of any court, whether jurisdictional, administrative, or political, must be subject to the constitutional guarantees of due process of law and full defense. Adding to that is the proximity of elections, when the voter will have the opportunity to express himself as our democratic regime demands”.

It is not clear, however, if Cunha still has the amount of influence he had before the nullification of his mandate. And it is unknown whether he will be a viable candidate for PTB.

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