Clown elected to Brazil Congress takes literacy test

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Sao Paulo, Nov 13 (IANS/EFE) Brazilian clown Tiririca who was elected to Brazil’s lower house of Congress has taken a literacy test to prove that he can read and write. He won the legislative elections in October with over 1.3 million votes.

He took the test Thursday — a requirement for serving as a lawmaker — before the electoral court authorities.

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

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

Millions of people in Brazil are classified as functionally illiterate, who can read and write but 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 and 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.

However, his 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.


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