Apology and corruption

IT IS rare for politicians to offer tearful apologies for their actions. Even so, Brazil’s President Lula da Silva would find it hard to restore his people’s trust and confidence in his leadership and his government. The Brazilian leader had been gifted a massive mandate in 2002 essentially to fight the all-pervasive corruption in Brazil and put the country back on the track.

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Published: Sun 14 Aug 2005, 10:01 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 6:33 PM

And now Lula himself stands accused of using illegal money, moved through dubious channels, to finance the poll campaign of the governing Workers’ Party.

The Brazilian leader’s claim that he wasn’t aware of the illegal funding has few takers considering the fact that an ally of the government, the Liberal party, has acknowledged that not only Lula knew of the dubious financing but the governing party had also offered $4 million in assistance to Liberal party.

All this is most absurd and unfortunate. Of course, all political parties do need financial assistance to run their electoral campaigns. That however doesn’t mean political parties can accept funding from anyone without checking their antecedents. Political parties and leaders, particularly those like Lula, who claim to fight corruption, can’t hide behind the fig leaf of ignorance about the nature of campaign funding. How can any political party or government hope to battle the very forces that have helped it come to power in the first place? Wrong means can never lead to right ends.

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