Latin America & Caribbean

Brazilian Minister Negromonte resigns over 'corruption'

Mario Negromonte (l) greets the governor of Bahia Jacques Wagner on 24 January 2012
Image caption Mario Negromonte is the seventh minister to resign amid allegations of corruption

The Brazilian minister in charge of transport projects has resigned amid allegations of corruption.

Minister of Cities Mario Negromonte is the seventh minister in President Dilma Rousseff's cabinet to step down amid corruption charges.

Mr Negromonte has been accused of awarding public work contracts to companies which financed his party, allegations he denies.

He will be replaced by the Progressive Party leader, Aguinaldo Ribeiro.

The Cities Ministry co-ordinates urban development.

Mr Negromonte's resignation had been widely expected after Brazilian newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo reported that his executive secretary had met with a businessman who was interested in bidding for a public works programme in Cuiaba, which the Cities Ministry was in charge of awarding.

String of allegations

Since Dilma Rousseff became President in January 2011, six other ministers have resigned amid allegations of graft and corruption.

Her chief of staff, Antonio Palocci, resigned in June after media reports questioned his rapid accumulation of wealth.

In July, Transport Minister Alfredo Nascimiento left following accusations of corrupt practices within his ministry.

Agriculture Minister Wagner Rossi resigned in mid-August after a whistle blower denounced the existence of corruption in his ministry.

In September, Tourism Minister Pedro Novais left office over allegations that he misused public funds.

Sports Minister Orlando Silva handed in his resignation in October. He had been accused of helping arrange kickbacks worth millions of dollars from a fund to promote sport for poor children.

In December, Labour Minister Carlos Lupi left his post after a Brazilian news magazine reported that he and some of his aides had allegedly demanded money from charities and non-governmental organisations in exchange for funding from the ministry.

Defence Minister Nelson Jobim stepped down in early August, but his resignation was brought about not by allegations of corruption but because he had made disparaging remarks about other ministers.

All have denied any wrongdoing.

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