Saturday, December 04, 2010
SAO PAULO (AP) — The congressman-elect may be a clown, but at least he can read and write.
The man who won more votes than any other candidate for Brazil's lower house has been cleared to take his seat because a judge has ruled he can read and write well enough to act as a congressman.
Judge Aloisio Silveira ruled on Wednesday that Francisco Silva did not lie when he signed a document swearing that he is literate.
Silva, who became famous as the clown Tiririca — "Grumpy" in Portuguese — received about 1.3 million votes in elections last October. But critics suggested he was illiterate and Silveira ruled there were discrepancies between the handwriting on Silva's application to run for Congress, on the document in which he swears he can read and write and in autographs he gave to fans.
Silveira ordered Silva to take a test in court proving he is literate, and the judge said on his sentence that the clown passed, "despite difficulties in writing."