Brazil President hit by new graft accusations

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 17 Mar 2016 14:16:52

Dilma Rousseff

 

 

BRASILIA, Mar 16 (AFP)

BRAZIL’S political drama took several new twists as a senator accused President Dilma Rousseff of offering hush money to contain a corruption scandal, and her predecessor considered a return to Government to help save their careers.
Prosecutors said a senator charged in a huge graft investigation centred on State oil company Petrobras had accused Rousseff of sending a powerful Cabinet Minister to try to buy his silence. The senator, Delcidio Amaral of the ruling Workers’ Party (PT), told investigators in statements given as part of a
plea bargain that Education Minister Aloizio Mercadante, Rousseff’s former chief of staff, contacted him via an aide to urge him not to testify.
Amaral, the former party leader in the Senate, said the Minister indicated the message came from Rousseff herself -- an accusation the Leftist leader angrily denied.
The President “vehemently and indignantly repudiates the attempt to associate her name with the personal initiative of Minister Aloizio Mercadante,” her office said in a
statement.
As the long-running scandal swirled, administration sources said former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva -- who is himself facing charges -- was on the verge of taking a cabinet post in Rousseff’s administration to try to save the crisis-hit Government.
The move, which would be hugely divisive, would amount to a risky bet that the aura
around Lula’s administration (2003-2011).