Latin America & Caribbean

Brazil mayor in donkey legal spat

Image caption A quip on an electoral debate sparked donkey business in Brazil

A Brazilian mayor who rode a donkey to his inauguration could face legal action over his stunt.

Vanderlei Batista rode the animal through the southern town of Passa Sete on Tuesday despite an earlier legal ruling banning him from doing so.

Judges have now passed the case to prosecutors, who will decide whether to fine him for breaching the order.

A local court judge earlier said his use of the donkey in his campaign was offensive "to democracy as a whole".

The row started during an electoral debate in October when an opponent allegedly implied he was uneducated.

To mock his rivals, Mr Batista used a donkey as a campaign symbol - as the Portuguese word for donkey, "burro" means "idiot".

He also promised to ride a donkey to his inauguration if he was elected. His opponents later gained a court order banning him from using the animal.

But when Mr Batista rode a borrowed donkey through town on Tuesday, no-one tried to stop him.

The local court, however, has now passed the case to state prosecutors.

Judge Luciane Glesse says prosecutors should fine the mayor $250 for ignoring her earlier order.