Brazilian clown and elected congressman Tiririca.
Brazil, Latin America: Week in Review

Brazilian Clown Needs To Pass Literacy Test For Congress

October 6, 2010 By Staff

Brazilian clown and elected congressman Tiririca.

Today in Latin America

Top Story — A popular Brazilian clown who got more votes than any other candidate for the country’s congress might be barred from taking his post, unless he convinces authorities that he can read and write.

In a ruling by Sao Paulo electoral court, Tiririca, whose real name is Francisco Silva, must meet the constitutional mandate that federal lawmakers be literate to take office. He will have 10 days after being notified to prove his literacy in a written defense.

Judge Aloisio Sergio Rezende Silveira also overturned another magistrate’s decision to throw out the lawsuit against Tiririca after hearing that forensic examination revealed concerns over whether it was his handwriting on his official electoral application.

A week before the election, Epoca magazine reported that coworkers on Tiririca’s show said that he was illiterate and a video posted on the magazine’s website shows a reporter reading questions from an election poll to the famous clown. When asked to read one of the questions himself, Tiririca becomes visibly upset before campaign aides rush in to assist him.

Tiririca became internationally famous when he won a congressional seat representing Sao Paulo last Sunday in Brazil’s general elections. He picked-up 1.3 million votes, more than any other candidate nationwide.

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Image: Visionshare @ Flickr.

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