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'Forget It, I'm Not Going to Resign From my Post, I'm Going to Persist,' Says Brazil's Speaker

10/09/2015 - 09h05

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MÔNICA BERGAMO
FOLHA COLUMNIST

Under fire following the revelation that he kept secret bank accounts in Switzerland, the Speaker of the lower house of congress, Eduardo Cunha (PMDB-RJ), says that his right to a defense is being trampled on and refutes the assumption that he should leave his post.

"Forget it, I'm not going to resign", he told Folha.

*

Folha - Do you currently have or have you ever had accounts in Switzerland?
Eduardo Cunha - I'm not going to address that matter.

It's just that, if you don't speak...
I divulged an official note where I reiterated my testimony to Petrobras' CPI. Period. [In March, Cunha told the commission he didn't have accounts overseas].

So you're saying the accounts aren't yours?
My testimony is there, I reiterate my testimony.

You're confident that you're going to remain in your post as the Speaker of the lower house of congress, for the full duration of the term?
My mandate can only be altered if I resign. And I'm not going to resign. You can't impeach the Speaker of the lower house of congress. Here [a departure] it relies on my own judgement. And I'm going to persist.

Even though the Supreme Court accepted the complaint that prosecutors presented against you?
Forget it, I'm not going to resign. I've been accused before. A year later, I was acquitted unanimously. I have a right to innocent until proven guilty and you have to apply this to everyone. My right is being trampled on. There is selectivity. My question is the following: after a year and eight months of investigation, 39 open inquiries, who with jurisdiction, PT or government, has been denounced like I have? Anyone? Why that haste with me? Obviously there's selectivity.

In all frankness: are you working for impeachment?
If I were, why wouldn't I accept the requests [that entered the lower house of congress]?

To avoid the burden of accepting the proposal alone.
I saw reports that say that. They even leave me a little irritated because I only have two options: accept or reject the impeachment requests.

There's a third: don't analyze them now. After all, you don't have time to do so.
And store it in a drawer? Which Speaker was the one who left an impeachment request in the drawer? I'm going to meet my obligation. No one can charge me for not storing the requests in a drawer, for not using a ruse. If I did that, they would say that the government bought me out.

You are not working with the opposition?
I'm not working with anyone. Despite my differences with the government, you don't have a declaration from me in favor of impeachment. I always say that it can't be an electoral appeal. And until now, there hasn't been any representation that has legally hinted at a fact that could be classified as a deterrent, a crime committed during the mandate.

Will you file the requests of lawyers Helio Bicudo and Miguel Reale Junior?
I intend to spend the holiday analyzing that request. I want to see all possible or imaginary nuances. But, if they point at facts from past mandates, the inclination will be that [file].

The president is suffering from defeats in Congress, the TCU and the Supreme Court and will be investigated by the TSE. Assuming the impeachment doesn't gain momentum, what can we expect? A government that has dragged on for three years, in a deep recession?
If it doesn't change. It will be that. I don't think there's anything that isn't solvable. And, at the same time, everything can be a problem. It's that old story of the man with the bird who closes his hand and asks the sage if the bird is dead or alive. And the sage replies: it's in your hands.

Translated by SUGHEY RAMIREZ

Read the article in the original language

Pedro Ladeira/Folhapress
Eduardo Cunha, the speaker of Brazil's lower house of Congress
Eduardo Cunha, the speaker of Brazil's lower house of Congress

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