Brazil's Rousseff to decide on sports minister

BRASILIA Fri Oct 21, 2011 9:34pm IST

Brazil's Sports Minister Orlando Silva speaks to journalists as he denies allegations of fraud in the Sports Ministry's contracts with private companies and NGOs, in Brasilia October 17, 2011. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino

Brazil's Sports Minister Orlando Silva speaks to journalists as he denies allegations of fraud in the Sports Ministry's contracts with private companies and NGOs, in Brasilia October 17, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Ueslei Marcelino

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff will decide the fate of her embattled sports minister after meeting with him on Friday to discuss the corruption allegations against him, a government source said.

"She wants to meet with him personally before deciding," said the source, who was well informed on the matter but not authorized to discuss it publicly.

Her agenda shows no meeting between the two but another source in the president's office said it could happen late afternoon or evening.

Orlando Silva is accused of arranging up to 40 million reais ($23 million) in kickbacks from government contracts to benefit himself and the Communist Party of Brazil, which is part of Rousseff's governing coalition.

The scandal threatens to further complicate already troubled preparations for the 2014 soccer World Cup and the 2016 Olympics, which Brazil hopes will showcase its emergence as an economic power.

Rousseff met with senior aides on Thursday night to review the allegations against Silva after returning from an official trip to Africa, according to the government source.

Local newspaper Estado de S.Paulo reported on Friday that the president had made up her mind after that meeting to replace Silva with another member of his party.

Silva has denied any wrongdoing and said the accusations were started by a disgruntled contractor arrested last year in an investigation into allegedly illegal fund-raising by the Communist Party.

Five cabinet members have already resigned since Rousseff took office on Jan. 1, four of them over ethics scandals that exacerbated acrimonious disputes in the ruling coalition and led allies to briefly boycott her legislative agenda.

Given the small size of the Communist Party, the scandal is unlikely to cause the same rifts in her coalition, which includes parties from the far-left to center-right.

But the matter is likely to renew a public debate over campaign financing issues, which many analysts say is at the heart of corruption among politicians.

Rousseff's hugely popular predecessor and mentor, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, came close to an impeachment process in 2005 over an illegal campaign financing scheme run by his ruling Workers' Party. A legislative proposal to tighten rules for campaign financing has been stuck in Congress ever since.

(Writing by Ray Colitt and Brad Haynes; Editing by Will Dunham)

Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Formula One

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Honouring Putin

Honouring Putin

FINA stands by decision to honour Putin.  Full Article 

ATP World Tour

ATP World Tour

Murray in Tour Finals, Djokovic and Federer win.  Full Article 

Neymar at Olympics

Neymar at Olympics

Neymar to be called up for Brazil's 2016 Olympic team.  Full Article 

Rio's Suspension

Rio's Suspension

Rio faces fight to get back into QPR side, says Redknapp   Full Article 

Nigeria vs FIFA

Nigeria vs FIFA

Nigeria set to avoid FIFA suspension after court case is dropped  Full Article 

International Career

International Career

Controversial batsman Ryder gets World Cup lifeline.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage