The Ethics Committee of São Paulo’s state congress voted to open impeachment proceedings against lawmaker Arthur do Val, better known by his nickname “Mamãe Falei.” He is adjudged to have breached parliamentary decorum after an audio message leaked of him saying that Ukrainian refugees “are easy because they are poor.”
There are a total of 20 complaints against him, and Mr. Do Val could lose his office, or face alternative penalties such as a suspension.
The lawmaker visited Ukraine under the pretense of aiding war refugees. The audio messages in question leaked to the press as he boarded his flight home to Brazil.
Mr. Do Val’s defense counsel alleges that he made a mistake, but that impeachment would be “an exaggeration.” He alleges that he was out of the country and on leave of absence, and therefore the board would not have jurisdiction to judge his conduct. He also says the messages were released illegally. Mr. Do Val will have five plenary sessions to present his defense.
After the audio message was released, Mr. Do Val left the Podemos party and the Movimento Brasil Livre, of which he was a leading figure. He also abandoned his plans to run for governor of São Paulo.