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Brazil's interim govt loses key minister to scandal

Brazil's interim govt loses key minister to scandal

Brazil

Brazil’s interim government has been thrown into confusion by the loss of one of its key figures, Planning Minister Romero Juca .

Juca had resigned amid accusations that he had conspired to obstruct the country’s biggest-ever corruption investigation.

Interim president, Michel Temer had counted on Juca, a close confidant and an experienced senator, to steer a budget bill through Congress to avoid a government shutdown next month.

I never committed any act which would obstruct any investigation. I never dealt with anyone in the Supreme Court or the Federal Public Ministry.

He had earlier said he would not resign over a newspaper allegation account.

The Folha de S. Paulo daily published purported excerpts of taped conversations between Juca and the former president of oil company Transpetro, Sergio Machado, reported to have been recorded in March.

The two are under investigation in the two-year police probe sparked by corruption at Petroleo Brasileiro SA.

“I never committed any act which would obstruct any investigation. I never dealt with anyone in the Supreme Court or the Federal Public Ministry to try to interfere in any investigation or any result within it. As such, I am very calm,” Juca said.

The scandal weakened Brazil’s currency on fears of further instability less than two weeks after president Dilma Rousseff was suspended to stand trail in the senate for allegedly breaking fiscal laws.

Juca is one of the most important members of the interim administration of President Temer, who replaced Rousseff.

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