Third Brazil minister named in corruption scandal resigns

Brazil’s interim president, Michel Temer, has lost the third cabinet member of his month-old administration

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Brazil’s interim president, Michel Temer, has lost the third cabinet member of his month-old administration to a graft scandal. Tourism Minister Henrique Eduardo Alves resigned after being accused of taking bribes.

Brazilian Tourism Minister Henrique Eduardo Alves, considered a close ally of acting President Michel Temer, resigned on Thursday after a brief tenure.

Alves, a member of Temer’s center-right PMDB party, is under investigation in the corruption probe at the state-run oil giant Petrobras. Several of Brazil’s most powerful politicians from across the political spectrum have already been implicated in the scandal.

Sergio Machado, the former chief executive of Petrobras subsidiary Transpetro and a key witness in a probe into the graft allegations, accused Alves of accepting the equivalent of $445,000 (400,000 euros) from state oil company Petrobras.

Acting President Michel Temer managed to oust Dilma Rousseff but is facing corruption allegations himself.

Alves is the third cabinet member to step down since Temer assumed the presidency just over a month ago following President Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment proceedings and current suspension over allegations linking her to the illegal manipulation of public accounts.

Temer, who had served as vice president under Rousseff, has also come under fire for appointing politicians facing corruption investigations as ministers.

In his letter of resignation, Alves only said he didn’t want to “create awkwardness or any kind of difficulty for the government.”

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Former Transparency Minister Fabiano Silveira and former Planning Minister Romero Juca have both also been forced to resign over leaked phone recordings linked to the scandal. Others, such as Environment Minister Sarney Filho, are currently facing scrutiny.

Temer may not be far from having to account for some serious allegations as well: In his testimony, Machado said Temer had asked him for about $430,000 to fund a 2012 campaign for mayor of Sao Paulo for one of his allies.

Temer has denied the allegation.

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