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Brazil’s Electoral Court impeaches 13 Sao Paulo councilors

October 20th, 2009
Sao Paulo's City Flag

Sao Paulo's City Flag

Brazil’s Electoral Court on Monday filed impeachment charges against 13 of Sao Paulo’s city councilors for receiving illegal donations during the 2008 election campaign.

All the impeached councilors had received campaign funds from the Brazilian Real Estate Association (AIB), whose donations exceeded the amount allowed by the Brazilian electoral law, the prosecutor’s office said.

The AIB donated a total of 1.81 million U.S. dollars to 29 councilors, the office said, adding that it was illegal for the AIB as a nonprofit organization to make campaign donations.

Of the convicted councilors, who account for nearly a quarter of Sao Paulo’s total 55 representatives, six belong to the Brazilian Social Democracy Party, four are from Democrats and three from the Brazilian Labor Party.

The court barred the councilors from being elected to any public office for three years, but they could still appeal against the court’s decision.

Under a deal with the prosecutor’s office that could exempt the AIB from punishment, the association pledged not to make any donations to candidates or political parties in the future, or it will be fined 10 times the amount of the illegal donations.

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