In a judgment held this Thursday morning, the 14th, the ministers of the Superior Electoral Court confirmed the conviction of the former governor of Rio de Janeiro, Luis Fernando Pezão (MDB) for abuse of political and economic power ‘of singular gravity’ in the Elections 2014, upholding the decision of the Regional Electoral Court of Rio that declared the former representative ineligible for eight years.
By majority, the ministers followed the vote of Minister Luis Felipe Salomão in the sense of denying an appeal filed by Pezão against a decision rendered in the 2nd instance in the scope of an Electoral Judicial Investigation Action filed by federal deputy Marcelo Freixo (PSOL-RJ).
The ministers Mauro Campbell, Carlos Horbach, Alexandre de Moraes, Kassio Nunes Marques and Edson Fachin voted with the rapporteur. Justice Maria Claudia was unsuccessful, who disagreed, claiming that it was up to the plaintiff to produce ‘more robust evidence’ on the case.
In the lawsuit, Freixo accuses Pezão of having signed, when he was Rio’s manager, contractual amendments for the provision of services and recognition of debts in favor of private legal entities, in moments immediately prior to large donations for the respective electoral campaign. It also points out irregularities involving the production of extensive electoral propaganda material by printers.
Upon reading his vote of the session held by videoconference, Salomão highlighted that, in his assessment, the evidence led ‘indisputably’ to the conclusion formed by the TRE-RJ, ‘in the sense that the governor at the time, candidate for reelection, used the prerogatives of the post to obtain large donations from companies for its election campaign’.
The minister pointed out a pattern in which several companies received high payments from the state government on the eve of the electoral period, and ‘continuously, they made donations to Pezão’s campaign to his party.
“The comparison of extracts from the publication of the government contractual adjustments with the donations to the MDB and the transfers to the campaign reveal a deviation of purpose in the administrative contracts and respective payments for the following aspects: execution of various adjustments, some of them relating to years prior to the on the eve of the 2014 election; use of contractual forms that would make it difficult to control its legality, such as exemption from bidding and public area lending; notorious proximity between the dates of payments made by the government and electoral donations, often in amounts similar to those received”, pondered the rapporteur, who still listed the contracts under suspicion.
Salomão pondered that the evidence related to the adjustments and donations ‘unequivocally demonstrates’ a scheme to ‘supply the electoral campaign’ of Pezão.
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