Brazil Bans Corporate Fund Donations In Political Campaigns

| by Ethan Brown

Corporate donations to election campaigns are no longer allowed in Brazil after the country’s Supreme Court ruled Sept. 17 to ban any funding from businesses to political campaigns. The court’s effort is designed to curb on the kickbacks that have infiltrated and corrupted Brazilian politics.

The court ruled 8 to 3 to allow donations from individuals but not from corporations, ending a previous decision just passed last week that granted businesses the right to donate funds to political campaigns and candidates, Reuters reported.

An investigation into bribes and political benefits of the nation’s leaders has been the center of attention in Brazilian politics recently. The investigation is centered on the oil company Petrobras; government contracts with the company were also benefiting dozens of advisers in President Dilma Rousseff’s administration.

For example, the investigation is questioning whether bribe money was used to assist in the leader’s re-election bid in October 2014. Also, the treasurer of Rousseff’s political party, the Worker’s Party, is currently in jail.

“We have come to an absolutely chaotic situation in which economic power dominates political power in an illegal way,” Justice Luis Fux said, defending his position to ban corporate funds from entering the political arena to limit the amount of corruption in the nation’s government.

Last week, members of the nation’s Congress voted in favor of allowing corporations to fund presidential campaigns, but not allowing funds to be donated to the candidates themselves. President Rousseff must sign the legislation before it can become law.

In last year’s presidential election, more than 90 percent of funding for the campaigns of the two candidates running for office came from corporations throughout the country, The Associated Press reported.

Sources: AP via The Washington Post, Reuters / Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons, Adriano Makato Suzuki/Flickr