Image Attribute: Geddel Vieira Lima / Source: http://blogoosfero.cc/
Minister of Government Geddel Vieira Lima sent a letter to President Michel Temer today (Nov. 25) resigning from office.
"Growing criticisms were directed at me. In Salvador, I have seen my family's suffering. Those who know me are aware that this is the limit of the pain I endure. It's time to leave. Wide interpretations were made, and I apologize to those who were reached by them, but Brazil is greater than all this," reads the beginning of his letter.
Lima was accused by former Culture Minister Marcelo Calero of pressuring him to approve the construction of a luxury apartment tower in a historic area in the city center of Salvador, Bahia. Lima bought a property there.
Although the project had been approved by the Institute of National Historic and Artistic Heritage (IPHAN) of the state, the project was vetoed by the national IPHAN on the grounds that the proposed building was on a heritage site. In the government's organization, IPHAN is linked to the Ministry of Culture.
Last week, Calero resigned. Yesterday (24) Folha de S. Paulo newspaper reported that the former minister gave testimony to the Federal Police in which he accused President Michel Temer of meddling in favor of Lima and suggested that the Federal Attorney General's Office (AGU) could handle the case.
Through spokesman Alexandre Parola, President Michel Temer said he tried to "arbitrate the conflict" between the ministers and denied any wrongdoing. The president suggested the legal assessment of the AGU, because, according to Parola, the AGU has the legal competence to solve any doubts among public administration bodies, as the state IPHAN and the federal IPHAN had disagreed on the matter.
The spokesman also said the former minister had always had an exemplary behavior while in office. And that, therefore, he felt surprised at Calero's allegations that the president had meddled in favor of Lima or asked for a solution that was not technical.
The spokesman said that Temer had always sought "technical solutions" for solving permits of works of his government and that he tried twice to solve the problem with Calero, his staff, and other ministers.
Alexandre Parola pointed out that the president was surprised by rumors of an alleged tapped conversation between him and Calero. "The president was especially surprised by rumors that the former minister had arranged a second meeting with the sole intention of illegally tapping the conversation with the president of the Republic for later releasing it," he said.
Translated by Amarílis Anchieta | Edited by: Nira Foster
(c) 2016 Empresa Brasil de Comunicação S/A - EBC | Creative Commons Atribuição 3.0 Brasil