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Rio's evangelical mayor faces impeachment over no-bid contracts

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Rio's evangelical mayor faces impeachment over no-bid contracts
FILE PHOTO: Rio de Janeiro's Mayor Marcelo Crivella speaks with Brazil's Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles during a meeting in Brasilia, Brazil February 21, 2018. REUTERS/Adriano Machado   -   Copyright  Adriano Machado(Reuters)
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BRASILIA (Reuters) – Rio de Janeiro’s municipal council voted to impeach the city’s mayor, Marcelo Crivella, on Tuesday for alleged improbity in extending advertising contracts without public bidding last year.

Crivella, who is also an evangelical bishop and gospel singer, has 10 days to present his defence to the council, which will then open a 90-day investigation of the mayor.

“We did nothing illegal. We will show that during the council’s investigation,” the mayor said on his Facebook page, accusing “ill-intentioned” people of slandering him.

Crivella successfully defeated three attempts to impeach him last year in the city council, but on Tuesday he lost by 35-14 votes after former allies abandoned him.

The anti-gay and anti-abortion preacher-turned-politician was elected mayor of Brazil’s most popular tourist destination in 2016, defeating his Socialist opponent Marcelo Freixo.

(Reporting by Anthony Boadle; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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