5 Sep 2013

Ban on secret voting approved in Brazil

8:36 am on 5 September 2013

The Chamber of Deputies in Brazil has approved a ban on secret voting in both houses of Congress. The measure now has to be approved by the Senate.

It was demanded in June when thousands of people demonstrated in cities such as Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Salvador.

The BBC reports the ability of Congress to hold votes in secret is seen as one of the ways legislators accused of corruption can stay in power, as their colleagues close ranks without having to face criticism from constituents.

A constitutional amendment was first proposed seven years ago, but had been stalled in the lower house since then.

But in a unanimous late-night vote on Tuesday, the 452 deputies present voted to abolish secret voting in both the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate.