Brazilian lawmakers debate stripping ex-speaker of his seat

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazil’s lower house of Congress has voted overwhelmingly to strip the legislative seat from its former speaker amid accusations of corruption and obstruction of justice.

The Chamber of Deputies voted 450 to 10 to remove Eduardo Cunha. Nine legislators abstained.

As speaker, Cunha was the main driver behind the impeachment process that removed left-leaning Dilma Rousseff from Brazil’s presidency last month.

Cunha has been accused by Brazilian prosecutors of receiving millions of dollars in bribes linked to the sprawling corruption scandal at state-run oil giant Petrobras. But the removal vote was based only on charges that he lied about having secret banking accounts in Switzerland. Cunha has said the accounts belong to a trust.

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