Until recently, few politicians would have dared to cross Eduardo Cunha, the formidable speaker of Brazil’s lower house of congress, who rules with a potent blend of smarts, cunning and intimidation.
Now Mr. Cunha is fighting for his political life. Fellow lawmakers are moving to oust him from his powerful post amid new allegations that he took millions of dollars in bribes linked to a massive corruption probe at Brazil’s state-run oil company, using the money to finance a lavish lifestyle that included nearly $60,000 in tennis lessons for his wife. Mr. Cunha has repeatedly denied wrongdoing and vows he won’t step down.
His fate could help determine Brazil’s ability to push past a political crisis that has paralyzed policy makers and darkened the country’s already grim economic outlook.