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Banning the Bums | Brazil’s «Clean Slate» Law in Practice

Source: Folha de S.Paulo

Contrary to its reputation as something of a partisan house organ of the PSDB — the Social Democrats — the Saturday edition of the Folha de S. Paulo runs two items favorable, in theory, to the rival Workers’ Party (PT).

The first is a report on the use of the «big monthly allowance» trial, underway in the Brazilian Supreme Court.

The report notes in passing that José Serra has a defendant in the case as part of his base of political support. This factoid does not appear in the Web version of today’s paper, however.

The Correio Braziliense has this:

Serra’s allusion to the “big monthly” was intended to harm the rival PT. However, one of the defendants in the case currently before the Supreme Court is federal deputy Valdemar Costa Neto (PR-SP), who supports Serra’s mayoral bid. The Party of the Republic (PR) is part of the Serra coalition. At the time the scandal broke, the party — known at the time as the Liberal Party (PL) allegedly received R$ 8 million  from advertising executive Marcos Valério, with Valdemar serving as go-between..

The second item of interest in today’s Folha is a statistical study of candidates rejected under the clean slate law, by party. The results, above — nice infographic — tally with a similar study at the end of Lula’s first term — the PSDB and DEM led the league in legislators charged with corruption, hands down and pulling away. Federal police corruption investigations — including cases unfavorable to the government alliance — grew by a factor of ten during Lula’s first term.

Source: Folha de S.Paulo. I translate.

The regional election tribunals have rejected the mayoral candidacy of 317 politicians based on the Ficha Limpa — «clean slate» law, according to a survey conducted by the Folha de S. Paulo in 26 Brazilian states.

The number is expected to increase, with 16 cases still undecided.

Of these rejected candidacies, 53 are in the state of São Paulo.

The PSDB is the party with the largest number of banned candidates, with 56 — roughly 3.5% of the candidates fielded by the party. The PMDB comes in second, with 49. The PT is in the eighth position, with 18 — 1% of its mayoral candidates.

All candidates banned by the regional tribunals can appeal to the federal tribunal, whose president, Cármen Lúcia, has said that it will not be possible to judge every appeal before the elections, but that it will be possible by the end of the year, before the ratification of election results.

The candidates barred by the TREs will still appear on the electronic voting machines, but all of their votes will be considered sub iudice pending a decision by the TSE.

An example: if a «dirty» candidate has the most votes but his appeal is rejected, the second-place candidate will assume office.