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  HOME | Brazil (Click here for more)

Clown Elected to Brazil Congress Takes Literacy Test

SAO PAULO – Brazilian clown Tiririca, who was elected to Brazil’s lower house of Congress with more than 1.3 million votes in the October legislative elections, took a literacy test to prove that he can read and write on Thursday before electoral court authorities, a potential requirement for serving as a Brazilian lawmaker.

Tiririca was examined by the Regional Electoral Court of Sao Paulo state so that he could have the chance to prove that he is competent to hold public office.

The president of the court, Walter de Almeida Guilherme, declared that Tiririca took the test, but that it still “cannot be confirmed that he knows how to read and write” since the final verdict will be delivered by Judge Aloizio Silveira, who will be the official charged with evaluating the exam.

In Brazil, there are millions of people who are classified as functionally illiterate but who can read and write a few things, albeit often without understanding what they actually mean.

During the exam, Tiririca had to read aloud the headlines and subheadings of the articles written on the first two pages of a Brazilian daily newspaper and also write a brief dictation from a passage of the book entitled “Justicia Electoral. Una retrospectiva” (Electoral justice: A retrospective).

Francisco Everardo Oliveira Silva, 45, is a television personality known by the nickname of Tiririca, and in last month’s legislative elections he ran for a federal congressional seat for the Party of the Republic and received the most votes of any candidate for a similar post nationwide.

Nevertheless, the popular clown’s lower house seat became endangered when he was accused of not knowing how to read or write.

Brazilian electoral law prevents illiterate people from holding public office. EFE
 

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