Renan Calheiros, Senate president, stands next to Henrique Eduardo Alves, who presides over the Chamber of Deputies: the online petition demanding his resignation already has over one million signatures
São Paulo – After an intense campaign in various social networks over the past few days, an online petition asking for the resignation of Renan Calheiros (PMDB-AL) from his role as Senate president has already gathered over a million signatures as of 3:25 p.m. today. The group organizing the petition through the Avaaz social mobilization community promises to send the petition to the Senate and to the office of the President as soon as it reaches 1.3 million signatures.
This number represents 1% of the nation's voters and is the amount required by the Federal Congress for citizens to register popular bill initiatives.
However, the number is not really necessary in the case of the petition. The group's organizer, Emiliano Magalhães, says they intend to use it as a means of political pressure.
“We can stir things up in the media, challenge the restrictions on this popular initiative and demand the resignation of the Federal Senate president, Renan Calheiros”, says Magalhães in the petition's introductory text.
It is possible, though, that a portion of the signatures may not be valid. One man on Facebook claimed he had signed the petition twice. “I just used two different e-mail addresses”, he said. Someone in the USA signed the petition as Barack Obama.
The pressure against Renan Calheiros has increased in the social networks. The first petition against him, seeking to stop his appointment to the Senate presidency, gathered less than 500 thousand signatures.
In 2010, Renan was re-elected with a total of 840 thousand votes.
Once again chosen by his equals to preside over the Senate, the same office he had given up in 2007, Calheiros may be investigated by the Federal Supreme Court (STF) regarding his alleged use of false invoices to justify his generous child support payments for a daughter he fathered with journalist Mônica Veloso.
The accusation was made by the Attorney General's office, accusing him of embezzlement (deviation of public funds), fraudulent misrepresentation and use of falsified documents.
EXAME.com contacted the senator's press office for a statement regarding the petition, but had received no answer until the publication of this article.