Bolsonaro Moves to Bypass Anticorruption Law

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Following another increase in fuel prices by state oil company Petrobras, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said Tuesday that he would seek to bypass a key anticorruption law to make state firms adhere to a series of commitments regarding their responsibilities to the public.

As a provisional measure, the move would automatically become valid for 60 days once it is published by the government, and could be extended for another 60 days until Brazil's congress votes on its text. If the vote does not take place within that period, the new measure is nullified.

The law was put into place following the so-called Operation Car Wash scandal, which began as a money laundering probe in 2014 and ended up examining widespread corruption in a variety of public institutions, including Petrobras, and resulted in a number of prominent political figures going to prison.

Brazil's Senate President Rodrigo Pacheco told reporters on Tuesday that he thought jettisoning the law was "not a solution" to the fuel crisis.

The debate over the anticorruption law is occurring amid another tumultuous week for Petrobras.

On Monday, Petrobras CEO Jose Mauro Coelho formally resigned, roughly a month after Bolsonaro said he had lost confidence in him. Fernando Borges, Petrobras' chief exploration and production officer, has been appointed as interim CEO until its shareholders can appoint an official replacement.

Borges will be the fourth CEO of the company since Bolsonaro took office in 2019 and the third so far this year.

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