Brazilian welfare recipient donate millions of dollars to political campaign

BRASILIA, Oct. 17 (Xinhua) -- A Brazilian welfare recipient donated more than 20 million U.S. dollars to a political campaign, authorities said on Monday.

Brazil's Federal Court of Accounts (TCU), or federal accountability office, said a beneficiary of a program that helps low-income households make ends meet, called Bolsa Familia, or Family Pocketbook, donated 75 million reals (23.4 million U.S. dollars) to an election campaign this year.

Authorities did not reveal the name of the donor or the candidate.

The TCU said as much as 1.41 billion reals (440 million U.S. dollars) in campaign donations presented some form of irregularity. The figure represents more than half of the 2.23 billion reals (695 million U.S. dollars) spent on election campaigns this year.

Among the irregularities were donations made in the name of 290 people who are deceased, the agency said.

In a bid to cut down on corruption and excessive corporate influence in elections, new legislation in Brazil bars campaign donations from private companies, leading illicit donors to find new and creative ways to get around the law.

Another high-profile case involved an ad agency that won a contract worth 357 million reals (111 million U.S. dollars), and that includes among its partners another beneficiary of the Bolsa Familia program.

Brazil's welfare program, which gives families small cash incentives to keep their children in school and adopt preventive healthcare habits, has been highly praised, even by the World Bank, which in a 2013 report said the "innovative" scheme should serve as a model for other countries. Enditem

[ Editor: meng ]


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