Brazil’s Top Court Bans Corporate Money in Election Campaigns


By Anthony Boadle | The Daily Mail UK


Brazil's Supreme Court decided on Thursday to ban corporate donations to election campaign financing in a move to clean up Brazilian politics caught in a massive kickback scandal.

The top court voted 8-3 to allow election donations from individuals but not from companies, a decision that renders unconstitutional a bill passed last week by the country's Congress allowing corporate funding for political parties.

The ruling comes in the midst of Brazil's biggest corruption investigation into bribes and political kickbacks on contracts with state-oil company Petrobras. The funds allegedly went into the pockets of dozens of politicians in President Dilma Rousseff's governing coalition.

The treasurer of her Worker's Party is in jail, and her election-campaign accounts are under investigation to see whether bribe money was used to help re-elect her last October.

The scandal heightened public scrutiny of corporate funding as scores of executives from Brazil's largest construction firms were indicted on corruption charges for paying bribes from overpriced contracts with Petroleo Brasileiro.

“We have come to an absolutely chaotic situation in which economic power dominates political power in an illegal way,” Justice Luiz Fux said, arguing with the majority that the ban on corporate funding is needed to set an equal playing field for election candidates.

The Supreme Court's decision had been on hold for 16 months after one of its members, Gilmar Mendes, asked for more time to consider the issue, arguing that Congress should rule on the matter first.

Last week, lawmakers reversed their earlier position and passed a bill that would allow companies to fund parties in election campaigns but not make donations to individual candidates. The bill is awaiting Rousseff's signature to become law.

[Read more here]

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18 Reader Comments

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  1.' Rodolfo Teles says:

    Alannah Crandall

  2.' Adam Sandnes says:

    To bad our court is on the take from corporate oligarchy.

  3.' Ian Campbell says:

    Should be the same here!

  4.' James J Walsh says:

    Well done Brazil. Should be Worldwide.

  5.' WendyJoy Smith says:

    well done Brazil, leading the way

  6.' Terrie LaSpesa says:

    The only candidate not taking corporate money….Donald J. Trump!

    •' Pat Bennett says:

      Trump is corporate money he doesn’t need outside money to fund him he’s rich enough but he had to bankrupt himself several times to do it is that who you’d want running your country someone with the potential to bankrupt your county worse that it is? That kinda a question I guess. (Neighbour to the north)

  7.' Nancy Michaels says:

    No reason why the United States can’t do the same

  8.' Venisse Schossler says:

    Well, this ia just a little step here. My country is devasted for corruption and bad administration. We dont have acess to education, health and security. If they receive this money and do something to poor Brazilian people, liKE in USA or Europe, will not be so injustice. But, we are living in the caos.

  9.' Leo Cooper says:

    Great (y)

  10.' Kay Mackenzie says:

    As long as they also outlaw donations from unions, crime organizations, foreign governments and religious groups. The tax-payer will then have to support their campaigns, though.

  11.' Dennis Wandell says:

    lead brazil

  12.' Pat Bennett says:

    Send that ruling up here!!

  13.' Brandon Broach says:

    This country the U.S. should do the same…

  14.' Karl Wolf says:

    Gee, really corporate corruption in election financing? Ask Scalia. He’ll say it’s a good thing.

  15.' Grant Fairchild says:

    Gee, ya think that would work in N. America for “Democracy” to work? Hmmm…

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