Education inquiry on hold until after elections

Education inquiry on hold
Senate President Pacheco. Photo: SF

After telling senators that he would open a congressional committee to investigate corruption and influence-peddling schemes in the Education Ministry, Senate President Rodrigo Pacheco announced that the investigation will wait until after the general elections in October.

Opposition Senator Randolfe Rodrigues of Amapá, who is leading the push for the investigation, told The Brazilian Report that he will litigate the decision, possibly asking the Supreme Court to force the inquiry to be opened right away.

Mr. Pacheco also stated that he would greenlight other inquiry requests to investigate illegal deforestation and organized crime in the Amazon. Pro-government lawmakers have tried to disrupt the education inquiry and divert attention from it by flooding the legislative body with other investigations.

“Most Senate leaders understand that these committees should be created after the election, to allow all senators to take part and avoid contamination by the electoral process,” Mr. Pacheco said on Twitter.

The opposition expected the education inquiry to begin immediately following the legislative recess (due to start in two weeks) and to continue during the elections. Even if the committee fails to prove wrongdoing, it would create a slew of negative press for the government while President Jair Bolsonaro seeks re-election.