Three headlines from Brazil this week,
1. Brazilian politician who led Rousseff impeachment is expelled from office. Eduardo Cunha, former speaker of the lower house, loses his seat and is barred from politics for eight years amid perjury and corruption claims
Cunha’s overwhelming defeat – by 450 votes to 10 with nine abstentions – strips him of parliamentary immunity and may be followed by criminal charges for his involvement in thebribery and kickback scandal at state-oil company Petrobras. He has also been banned from politics for eight years, a punishment more severe than that of Rousseff, who was ejected from office but maintains her political rights.
2. Federal prosecutors in Brazil have asked a judge to file corruption charges against former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. (emphasis added)
They accused him of being the “boss” of a huge corruption scheme that cost the state oil company, Petrobras, an estimated $12.6bn (£9.5bn) in losses.
Prosecutors had been investigating whether Lula and his wife failed to declare ownership of a luxury flat.
He has denied owning the penthouse and says the case is politically motivated.
A criminal conviction would bar him from running for president in 2018.
3. Brazil launches privatization plan to rescue economy
The government will sell operating licenses for airports in the cities of Porto Alegre, Salvador, Florianopolis and Fortaleza by the first quarter of 2017. It also plans to sell rights to operate federal roads in the center-west and south regions later next year.
Center-right President Michel Temer has vowed to shift economic policy away from the interventionist policies of his predecessor, Dilma Rousseff, that marred investors’ confidence in the once-booming economy.
. . .
The program includes the concession of railway projects that have already been built as well as the long-delayed auction of rights in oil fields and hydroelectric plants in the first and second half of 2017.
The government will also privatize six power distributors owned by state-run power holding company Eletrobras in the north and northeastern regions.
Who knows? All of this may point to real change, which the country needs.