BRAZIL'S VP REAFFIRMS GOVT PLEDGE TO HOLD REFERENDUM

12 Jul 2013 11:19

RIO DE JANEIRO, July 5 (BERNAMA-NNN-XINHUA) -- Brazilian Vice President Michel Temer Thursday reaffirmed the government's intention to hold a referendum on political reform, reversing his statement that there was not enough time to do so.

Temer said parties belonging to the ruling alliance are "unanimous" in their support for a public consulting on reforms.

He also denied having backed off from the decision to hold the plebiscite this year, saying he was just expressing some parties' concerns regarding the time limit.

Earlier in the day, Temer said President Dilma Rousseff's proposed referendum on political reform would have to be postponed until next year, because the timetable was impossible to meet.

Brazil's Supreme Electoral Court Tuesday set an early-September deadline for the referendum, saying the time limit is set to allow Congress to have enough time for the approval of any proposed political reforms by Oct. 5, a year before next general election, which is stipulated by Brazilian law.

Minister of Justice Jose Eduardo Cardozo said the ruling alliance of political parties was very united in its support for a referendum on political reforms.

"We will have a new model of the political system. The people are going to decide how they want their decisions to be represented in the future, and it is a step forward in the nation's history," he said.

On Monday, President Rousseff officiallly submitted a proposal for holding a non-binding national vote, or plebiscite, to see what Brazilians want to change.

In the proposal, she listed issues including election campaign financing and an end to anonymous votes in congress.

Her proposal was made in response to a wave of mass protests demanding better public services and an end to corruption.

--BERNAMA-NNN-XINHUA

SS RT