House stalling Daniel Silveira impeachment cases

Brazil’s lower house is sitting on two cases that could lead right-wing Congressman Daniel Silveira to lose his office.

Caught in the center of one of the largest constitutional crises in recent years, Mr. Silveira is now expected to remain in his job until the end of his term, despite a jail sentence hanging over him for threatening to physically assault Supreme Court justices. 

According to newspaper Folha de S. Paulo, the plan to delay Mr. Silveira’s impeachment case can be attributed to House Speaker Arthur Lira and his allies, who are seeking to bury the controversy as Brazil approaches its general elections.

A lower house ethics committee had already voted to suspend Mr. Silveira from office for six months in one case, but any such suspension requires approval from the entire chamber.

Last month, the Supreme Court convicted Mr. Silveira to almost nine years in prison and stripped of his office, a move which infuriated not only President Jair Bolsonaro — who immediately issued an unprecedented pardon for his ally — but also House Speaker Lira, who is in favor of Congress having the final word over impeaching its members, even when they are convicted of crimes. Now Mr. Silveira considers himself free, and still a member of Congress.

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