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Senate Defies Supreme Court and Keeps Calheiros As Its President

12/07/2016 - 00h18

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DANIEL CARVALHO
DÉBORA ÁLVARES
LETÍCIA CASADO
RUBENS VALENTE
FROM BRASÍLIA

The Senate leaders decided on Tuesday (6) to defy an injunction granted by Justice Marco Aurélio Mello, from the Federal Supreme Court, and refused to remove Senator Renan Calheiros (PMDB-AL) from the presidency of the House.

The Senate sent the Supreme Court a decision of its leaders informing they will wait for the position of the plenary of the court to accept Calheiros' removal from office.

Calheiros' removal was decided by Justice Mello alone. The other justices will deliberate the case this Wednesday (7).

The justice officer left the Senate presidency at 15:06 saying that Calheiros had not signed the notification.

In theory, Justice Mello can have Calheiros arrested based on article 330 of the Penal Code for disobeying the judicial order. The penalty is a period from15 days to six months in prison, plus a fine.

Senator Jorge Viana (Worker's Party) declared to Folha that no special session will be called at the Senate to discuss Calheiros' situation.

"Let's wait for the Supreme Court", he said.

DOUBTS

Senators have interpreted the statement sent to the Supreme Court by the Senate's leaders in different ways. Lawmakers from PMDB and the Worker's Party say they do not know who is in charge of the Senate right now.

Calheiros criticized Justice Mello on Tuesday and said he would not comply with the decision. He said that he will respect the position of the Senate's leaders.

"Nine days before [the end of the work in the Senate], with a pre-defined agenda, you remove, by monocratic decision, the president of the Federal Senate, no democracy deserves it," said Calheiros.

"Democracy, even in Brazil, does not deserve this end," he added.

Translated by MARINA DELLA VALLE

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