UPDATE 4-Brazil's lower house speaker breaks with government

viernes 17 de julio de 2015 14:18 GYT

(Adds comments from president, speaker, finance minister, analyst)

By Maria Carolina Marcello

BRASILIA, July 17 (Reuters) - The speaker of Brazil's lower house of Congress broke with the government of President Dilma Rousseff on Friday over corruption accusations, deepening a political crisis in Latin America's largest economy.

Speaker Eduardo Cunha accused Rousseff's government and prosecutor general Rodrigo Janot of conspiring to incriminate him in a corruption scandal at state-run oil firm Petrobras in which he is being investigated for allegedly taking bribes.

"I cannot accept that the government uses its machinery to seek the political persecution of those who turn against it," Cunha told journalists in Brasilia.

Cunha said he would push to remove his Brazilian Democratic Movement Party, or PMDB, from a governing alliance at a party congress in September.

The PMDB is Brazil's largest party, and its departure from the governing coalition would deprive Rousseff and her allies of a majority in Congress. The party said in a statement it respected Cunha's personal position but that any party decision would only be taken after consulting various party commissions.

The rupture, which has been in the works for months, comes a day after Cunha said he is weighing legal arguments for Rousseff's impeachment over alleged campaign finance irregularities. Cunha is seen as a possible presidential candidate in 2018.

Soon after his comments on Friday, President Rousseff told regional peers at a conference that there is no room for "anti-democratic adventures" in South America. Her allies have compared impeachment efforts against her to a coup.   Continuación...