Brazilian court rules Congressman must leave his seat because he was not eligible

Brazilian court rules Congressman must leave his seat because he was not eligible

Wednesday, May 17th 2023 – 10:40 UTC

Dallagnol may appeal the court’s ruling but must vacate his seat in the meantime

Brazil’s Superior Electoral Court (TSE) Tuesday ruled that Congressman Deltan Dallagnol needs to leave his post effective immediately because he was not eligible. The decision came months after the lawmaker and former prosecutor took his oath of office and served on the Lower House, Agencia Brasil reported.

The Superior Electoral Court (TSE) unanimously decided on Tuesday (16) to revoke the mandate of Federal Deputy Deltan Dallagnol, who has as head of the Operation Lava Jato task force in Curitiba and, after leaving office, was the most-voted deputy of Paraná in the 2022 elections, with 344,000 votes.

The decision can be appealed, but Dallagnol will have to leave the elective office he has held for three months.

The decision must be complied with immediately, and the votes received by the congressman in the election will be computed for the party.

Dallagnol’s eligibility was contested by the federation formed by the Workers’ Party (PT) in the state and the candidate for congressman Oduwaldo Calixto (PL). Before reaching the TSE, Deltan’s ineligibility was rejected by the Paraná Electoral Court. Both plaintiffs argued that the former prosecutor could not run for the elections because he was condemned by the Federal Audit Court (TCU) in the case of per diems paid to the task force.

Moreover, according to the prosecution, Dallagnol could not have run for having left the Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office (MPF) during the course of disciplinary administrative proceedings against him at the National Council of Public Prosecutors (CNMP).

Case rapporteur Justice Benedito Gonçalves voted for Dallagnol’s removal from office. He argued that the former prosecutor resigned from the MPF on November 3, 2021, when he had already been sentenced by the CNMP to censure and warning and still had 15 procedures in progress unfavorable to him in the body.

In Gonçalves’ view, Dallagnol’s goal was to make “a maneuver” to avoid the loss of office and the inclusion in the Ficha Limpa (clean dossier) law.

According to applicable rules, members of the Public Ministry who have lost their positions by sentence or who have resigned during the course of disciplinary proceedings are ineligible for a period of eight years.

The rapporteur also pointed out that, according to the electoral law, Dallagnol could only leave the MPF six months before the elections. “The defendant acted to defraud the law since he practiced a series of acts to prevent disciplinary proceedings against him, and therefore avoid ineligibility,” Gonçalves concluded.

Dallagnol’s lawyer Leandro Rosa said that the congressman was able to run for the elections and that the TCU’s decision against him was suspended by an injunction from the Federal Court in Curitiba. The defense attorney also said that the former prosecutor’s request for exoneration was made after the CNMP provided a certificate confirming that there were no ongoing cases against him. The defense confirmed that the former prosecutor received a warning and a censure by the council, but the sentences were served and the proceedings closed.

“Deltan formalized his request for exoneration because his oversight body said he had no open disciplinary proceedings,” he said.

(Source: Agencia Brasil)

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