The mayor of Rio de Janeiro Marcelo Crivella, a former ultra-conservative evangelical pastor, was declared ineligible until 2026, this Thursday by the Regional Electoral Court (TRE), two months before the municipal elections.
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The seven judges of the TRE have rendered their decision unanimously, but Marcello Crivella's defense has announced that it will appeal and ensures that the city councilor will be a candidate for his own succession.
He was deemed ineligible due to accusations of using municipal personnel and equipment to organize a campaign rally for his son, a legislative candidate in 2018. During this meeting, vehicles from the municipal company garbage collection was reportedly used to bring employees there during their working hours.
The defense denied any wrongdoing on the part of the mayor and denounced procedural flaws.
"Guardians of Crivella" scandal
Former pastor and bishop of the powerful Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (neo-Pentecostal), Marcelo Crivella, 62, elected mayor of Rio at the end of 2016, had already faced three requests for impeachment for other cases, all rejected by the city council.
One of them dealt with the scandal of the “Guardians of Crivella”, anti-journalist brigades which raged in front of hospitals run by the town hall, a network denounced by the TV Globo channel.
Coordinated via WhatsApp groups, these municipal employees pretended to be onlookers and then shouted insults as soon as a reporter tried to make a live intervention on a television news or interview families of patients, in one of the most urban cities. affected by the coronavirus.
Brazilian media also reported on a prosecution investigation into an alleged network of embezzlement of laundered public funds within the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God.
Rio de Janeiro has been hit by a succession of political scandals over the past twenty years.
On Wednesday, the Rio state legislature unanimously approved the continuation of the impeachment procedure for Governor Wilson Witzel, accused of taking part in a network of embezzlement of public funds intended for the fight against the coronavirus.
He had already been removed from power on August 28, by decision of the Superior Court of Justice (STJ).
Before him, the last five governors of Rio have been in trouble with the law and four of them have even served in prison.