BRASILIA – Special presidential adviser Jose Yunes resigned on Wednesday from his post after being tied to the corruption scandal involving Brazilian state-controlled oil giant Petrobras, officials said.
Yunes said in his resignation letter to President Michel Temer, a copy of which was made public by the Office of the President, that he was stepping down to “preserve” his “dignity” and “keep lit the civic flame” that makes him “believe in the country’s immense potential.”
A former executive of construction giant Odebrecht who is cooperating with prosecutors linked Yunes to the massive corruption scandal at Petrobras, media reports said.
The same former executive also tied Temer to the corruption scandal.
Odebrecht’s former director of institutional relations, Claudio Melo, told investigators that Temer asked the construction giant for 10 million reais (about $3 million) for the 2014 presidential campaign, the press reported.
Temer was the vice presidential running mate of President Dilma Rousseff, who was ousted from office in August.
Yunes told Temer that he decided to leave his post with the administration over the allegations, which he rejected.
Temer has also denied the allegations, which have implicated two influential Cabinet ministers.
Dozens of politicians are under investigation in connection with the $2 billion Petrobras corruption scandal.
On Tuesday, the opposition Workers Party (PT) said the corruption allegations against Temer’s administration were creating a crisis of governance and called for early elections.
“We’re facing a uniquely grave moment in the country’s history,” Sen. Humberto Costa, the head of the PT’s bloc in the upper house, said on the Senate floor.
“The only way out is to construct a grand national pact” and hold early elections at the start of 2017, he added.
Presidential elections are currently scheduled for October 2018.