Former clown messes up Brazilian vote
Friday 18 February 2011
A clown who won a seat in Brazil's Congress by a landslide has stayed true to his former profession by messing up his first vote.
Francisco Everardo Oliveira Silva, better known by his clown name Tiririca, had pledged to back the government's austerity proposal for a new national minimum wage in a crucial vote on Wednesday night.
When the time came, however, Tiririca pressed the wrong button on the computerised system and accidentally voted for an opposition proposal for a much bigger increase in the wage than the government wanted, according to Brazilian media who spoke to his office.
The leader of the opposition PSDB party in the lower house of Congress, Duarte Nogueira, said he was grateful for the unexpected support, although the government still won the vote.
"I went and thanked him – after all, it's the support of the deputy who won the most votes in Brazil," he was quoted as saying by the Agencia Estado news agency.
Tiririca caught the attention of disillusioned voters last October with a campaign slogan, "It can't get any worse", and a promise to do nothing more in Congress than report back on how politicians spend their time.
Tiririca first made his name in 1997 as a pop singer when his album, Florentina went to the top of the Brazilian charts.
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