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Corruption scandals in Brazil may signal push for better government

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Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters

(Read caption) Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff speaks during the closing of "March of the Daisies", an annual mobilization by women in Brazil, to demand sustainable development with justice, autonomy, equality and freedom, on the Esplanade of Ministries in Brasilia August 17.

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When President Dilma Rousseff took office in January, she counted on the largest congressional majority Brazil had ever witnessed – a super-majority that gave her more than three-fifth of votes Congress – enough to change the constitution. President Rousseff lost that super-majority when the PR and its block of 52 deputies broke with the government on Tuesday, reported Jornal Globo. The break follows the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (DNIT) scandal, in which the government wrested control of the ministry from the PR after clear evidence of embezzlement and kickback schemes surfaced.

4 resignations in 3 months

Yesterday’s resignation by Brazil's Minister of Agriculture, Wagner Rossi (PMDB), marked the fourth ministerial resignation in 8 months – a new record for Brazilian democracy. Mr. Rossi’s departure follows in the footsteps of Antonio Palocci (Chief of Staff, PT), Alfredo Nascimento (Minister of Transportation, PR), and Nelson Jobim (Defense). The Ministry of Tourism has also been purged, with the Federal Police having made over a dozen arrests in the face of ongoing investigations.

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