Brazil ethics panel delays decision on embattled speaker

Paulo Trevisani – The Wall Street Journal, 12/01/2015

Brazilian lawmakers on Tuesday delayed a crucial decision on whether to let the House speaker retain his official position after being charged with money laundering and corruption, extending the political uncertainty that is further undermining the economy.

Members of the House Ethics Committee spent several hours debating whether to strip congressman Eduardo Cunha of his position as House speaker. The panel adjourned before reaching a decision, as a joint session of the two legislative chambers was called to vote on important budget issues.

The delay was a victory for Mr. Cunha, who has been charged by prosecutors for taking millions in bribes in connection with a massive corruption scandal involving state-controlled oil company Petróleo Brasileiro SA and hiding the money in secret Swiss bank accounts.

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