One of the main aspiring candidates to preside over Brazil attended the arrival of the police at his house early on Wednesday with a search warrant in the framework of an old corruption investigation. Ciro Gomes, center-left, is a veteran politician who finished third in the 2018 elections. Former minister, governor, deputy and mayor, he is a suspect along with other people in a case of alleged bribes paid by the company awarded the reform of a stadium of the World Cup.
Gomes considers that the resurrection of the case precisely now supposes a persecution of which he directly accuses the President of the Republic. “(Jair) Bolsonaro transformed Brazil into a police state that hides under the cloak of false legality,” the politician tweeted. In his short biography on Twitter, Gomes distances himself from the many Brazilian politicians peppered by corruption scandals with the following phrase: “I was never prosecuted for theft.”
The police investigation, which began in 2017 and has now risen, pursues the alleged payment of bribes and other illicit acts framed in the crimes of money laundering, bid fraud, criminal association and giving and receiving bribes, according to the news portal. G1.
It also occurs at a time when the accusations of corruption that led dozens of politicians to jail dissolve like a sugar cane. With Brazil fully immersed in the pre-electoral campaign, Gomes has immediately received the solidarity of the most prominent politician on the left flank, but from whom he is separated by apparently irreconcilable personal differences: Lula da Silva. The former president has affirmed that Ciro Gomes and his brother Cid, a federal senator, “deserve respect” and that “their houses were unnecessarily invaded, without being questioned or taking into account the ideal life trajectories of both.”
Ten months before the elections, one or more voting intention polls are published each week in Brazil. For months the trends have been maintained. The most recent is headed by Lula with a lot of slack (48%), followed by Bolsonaro (21%) with the former judge Moro and the now suspicious Gomes with a technical tie of around 6%.
Meanwhile, the search for essential alliances continues. The one that would unite Lula with veteran center-right politician Geraldo Alckmim as vice president, who has had political Brazil speculating for weeks, won some integers with the latter’s departure from the PSDB, the Brazilian Social Democracy Party, this Wednesday.
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Among the 14 objectives of the investigation of the case for which the house of Gomes has been registered today is also the company that made the reform of the Fortaleza stadium to host the soccer World Cup in 2014. Gomes lives in that city, capital of the State of Ceará, cradle of the family clan that leads the presidential candidate.
Although Gomes was a minister in a Government of the Workers’ Party (PT), his relationship with Lula is disastrous. During the last year, Gomes has flirted with the candidates of the center-right to try to illuminate a broad-spectrum candidacy in the center as an alternative to the Lula-Bolsonaro duo, a space that for now is shared by Moro and Gomes.
The candidate Gomes began his political career in Sobral, a city in the interior of Ceará that his brothers have also ruled and that has become a benchmark for educational quality at the national level.
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.