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Clown takes literacy test for Congress seat

7 years ago141 views



After winning a seat in Brazil's Congress by a landslide, professional clown Francisco Everardo Silva, better known as "Tiririca", has been forced to prove he can read and write before taking up his position.

The 45-year-old clown took a closed-door test in Sao Paulo's regional electoral court (TRE) to attest to his literacy, one of the requirements for serving as a lawmaker in the country.

During the ten-hour-long exam, Tiririca had to read aloud two newspaper headlines and write a brief dictation of a passage from a law book.

Authorities defended their original decision in allowing Tiririca to run for office. The exam ended well for Tiririca. He was approved and left court with a smile, greeting reporters.

Yet, public prosecutors weren't satisfied with the clown's performance and plan to appeal to the Supreme Federal Tribunal. Brazil's top judges will give the final word on the case and Tiririca could be ousted or barred from taking office if they don't agree on his literacy.

Prosecutor Mauricio Ribeiro Lopes said Tiririca got less than 30 per cent of the words right during his exam. He told reporters he wasn't convinced Tiririca could read and write.

Prosecutors also accused Tiririca of issuing a fake literacy declaration for his candidacy application, saying his wife had been responsible for writing the document.

Tiririca, whose stage name means "grumpy," was Brazil's most popular congressman, receiving more than 1.3 million votes in Sao Paulo state. That was more than double the votes of the second-placed candidate in country's most populous state.