08 Jul 2016
Brazilian congressman Eduardo Cunha, who led the drive to impeach Dilma Rousseff, stepped down as lower house speaker on Thursday following allegations of corruption.
He announced his decision in a press conference in Brasilia, at times choking up with emotion, saying his decision would help ease the political instability that has rocked Latin America’s largest economy for the past year. His resignation will allow the lower house to hold elections for a new speaker as soon as next week.
The Supreme Court had already suspended Cunha as speaker after it opened a criminal case against him earlier this year on charges of accepting kickbacks. A congressional ethics committee in mid-June recommended the lower house remove him from office following allegations that he lied about the presence of a Swiss bank account used to hide dirty money. The full chamber hasn’t yet held a vote on the matter.
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