Brazil mines and energy minister resigns

Brazil's mines and energy minister resigned amid accusations he was bribed by a construction company that obtained contracts to provide electricity to poor rural areas in a program championed by the nation's first working class president.

Brazil mines and energy minister resigns
Brazil's mines and energy minister resigned amid accusations he was bribed by a construction company that obtained contracts to provide electricity to poor rural areas in a program championed by the nation's first working class president.

Silas Rondeau, who headed President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's "Lights for Everyone" program, denied wrongdoing but said in a statement he was stepping down to prevent the controversy from hurting the government's push to bring energy to the poor.

In a statement issued late Tuesday, Rondeau insisted on his "absolute innocence in relation to the accusations levied against me."

Brazilian media have reported that Rondeau accepted $50,000 to steer a contract to the Gautama construction company as part of a much larger scheme involving government money being siphoned off though fraudulent bidding on public projects that were overcharged or never built.

His resignation marked the fourth time in recent years that members of Silva's Cabinet have been forced to out because of corruption allegations, but Silva has remained untouched by the scandals.
Last Mod: 23 Mayıs 2007, 18:12
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