Majority of Brazil's Supreme Court approves Ficha Limpa electoral law


Protesters demonstrate washing the entrance of the Brazilian Supreme Court during the March Against the Corruption of Brazilian Politics in Brasilia on September 7, 2011.



SÃO PAULO, Brazil — The majority of Brazil's Supreme Court ministers voted today on the constitutionality of an electoral law introduced by former-president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva called Ficha Limpa, reported Brazilian newspaper Folha.

According to Brazilian news site UOL, Ficha Limpa (Clean Sheet) prevents politicians from being election candidates if they have already been convicted of a crime by more than one judge. It also makes potential candidates ineligible for election for eight years after sentencing due to committing an electoral crime (fraud, vote-buying, falsification of public documents), laundering and concealment of assets, and administrative misconduct, among other crimes.

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Ficha Limpa was passed with seven of the 11 ministers' approval, reported UOL. The ministers can decide to change their votes by the end of the Supreme Court session, according to Folha, but that only happens in very rare circumstances.

Brazil is no stranger to crime-committing politicians and government misconduct. Just last year, six ministers under current-president Dilma Rousseff quit amid a corruption scandal, reported The Financial Times. GlobalPost also wrote earlier this month of the seventh minister to resign amid charges of corruption under Rousseff.