Brazilian Tourism Minister Novais hands in resignation

by Tiffany Millar on September 15, 2011

Brazil’s Tourism Minister Pedro Novais resigned today over accusations that he has misused public funds.

Novais quit after reports alleged that he used public money to pay for a maid and a personal driver while he was serving as a congressman. Although he denies having done anything wrong, Novais says the he has stepped down so that he can start preparing his defence.

Novais is the fourth minister that has resigned or been sacked over allegations of corruption since President Dilma Rousseff was sworn into office in January. Those opposed to her government say that Rousseff’s administration is rife with corruption.
In response, the ruling party says that corruption has always been active in Brazil, the only difference now is that action is starting to be taken and cases are being brought into the public eye.

The resignations have done little to help Ms Rousseff’s strained governing coalition, made up of over a dozen parties. Novais, aged 81, was a member of the largest coalition partner she has, PMDB – otherwise known as the Democratic Movement Party of Brazil.

These latest accusations follow other allegations of widespread corruption in Brazil’s lucrative ministry of tourism. Just last month, over 30 ministry officials were apprehended on charges of wasting public money. Another minister, Nelson Jobim, has also left, after he allegedly made disparaging remarks about his colleagues to the media.

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