Brazil Court Suspends Congress Vote On Oil Royalties Bill Veto

BRASILIA - Brazil's supreme court Monday issued an injunction suspending a planned congressional vote this week to override a veto by President Dilma Rousseff on a bill that would broadly distribute royalty revenues from oil production to states all around the country.

Brazil's congress was scheduled to hold the vote Tuesday evening.

Supreme Court justice Luiz Fux granted the injunction after representatives from oil-producing states requested the suspension.

"This was a correct decision by the supreme court," said congressman Alessandro Molon of Rio de Janeiro state following the injunction. "It re-establishes constitutional rules."

In reaction, however, Senate president Jose Sarney said the senate planned to file an appeal in favor of the vote, and expected a court opinion on the matter before Brazil's congress begins a year-end recess Friday.

In the suit against the vote, Mr. Molon and other representatives from Brazil's oil-producing states alleged that the override would violate congressional procedure, as the veto would be considered ahead of 3,000 other vetoes awaiting deliberation in congress.

Leaders in Brazil's congress last week scheduled the vote after representatives from 24 non-oil-producing states gathered enough signatures to request the veto override.

Brazil's oil-producing states say they stand to lose billions of dollars in revenues in coming years if the veto is overturned.


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