Renan Calheiros Biography
José Renan Vasconcelos Calheiros (Portuguese pronunciation: ʁeˈnɐ̃ kaˈʎejɾus; born September 16, 1955) is a Brazilian politician and former President of the Senate of Brazil. He has represented the state of Alagoas in the senate as a member of the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party since 1 February 1995. Renan's presidency of the Brazilian Senate, a term that started February 1, 2013, was revoked December 5, 2016 by a minister of the Brazilian Supreme Court, Marco Aurélio Mello, who said that a person under investigation could not be in the line of succession for the presidency. However the Supreme Court decided December 7, 2016 that Renan could remain senate president, without being in the succession.
On May 25, 2007, Veja magazine accused Calheiros of accepting funds from a construction industry lobbyist, to pay child support for a child from a previous extramarital affair with broadcast journalist Mônica Veloso. In trying to justify the origin of the funds, subsequent investigations into Calheiros' business dealings led to other revelations of income tax fraud and the use of a proxy to buy a stake in a radio station. Calheiros was subject to a disciplinary inquiry by the senate's ethics committee on four different counts. On September 12, 2007, the senate voted by secret ballot against impeaching Calheiros on the lobbyist funds accusation. He still faces three separate inquiries on other charges. After the vote public outrage forced congress to eliminate secret ballot voting for ethics violations, meaning Calheiros' three other inquiries, if approved by the ethics committee, will be subject to an open ballot vote in the senate floor.On October 11, 2007, Calheiros stepped down as president of the senate, taking a 45-day leave of absence from the position. The ethics inquiries continued to progress through the senate committees.Calheiros worked for both the Fernando Collor de Mello and Fernando Henrique Cardoso governments.On February 1, 2013, he was again elected president of the Brazilian Senate. Due to the accusations mentioned above, many Brazilians became upset about his election and some started an online petition demanding Renan's impeachment. As of February 2013, it had been signed by more than 1.6 million Brazilians.The Senate board (João Alberto, Sérgio Petecão, Zezé Perrella, Romero Jucá, Gladson Cameli, Vicentinho Alves) together with Renan Calheiros refused to obey an order from the Supreme Federal Court (Federal Supreme Court) to remove Calheiros from the presidency because he became defendant of embezzlement (peculation in the penal code). The Senate maneuvered so that the justice official could not handle the judicial notice and Calheiros refused to sign it.
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