Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Brazil: President Rousseff's chief of staff resigns

President Dilma Rousseff's Chief of Staff Antonio Palocci has resigned over corruption allegations and the controversy surrounding his massive personal fortune. Palocci's resignation followed reports in the Brazilian media, saying his personal wealth had increased twentyfold over the course of the last four years. The former chief of staff has denied all allegations.

The scandal - which commenced almost three weeks ago when the Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper reported Palocci's net worth - is a big blow to Rousseff, who took-up office only six months ago.

Before resigning from his post Palocci said the attorney general had confirmed "the legality and rectitude" of his conduct, but that the continuing "thrashing" the government was receiving over this issue could harm Rousseff and her administration.

Upon news of Palocci's resignation, Rousseff thanked Palocci for his “valuable” work and said she regretted his departure. This is the second time Palocci has resigned from public office. In 2006, he stepped down from his post as finance minister over similar corruption allegations. He was later cleared.

Sources: BBC News, Bernama, Reuters

or more news and expert analysis about Brazil, please see Brazil Focus.

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