Brazilian electoral candidate Francisco Everando Oliveira Silva, better known as “Tiririca” the clown, is a step closer to be able to serve as a deputy, after passing a reading/writing test (which current president Lula, once a shoe shiner said to be an idiocy, an insult to those who voted for him) mandated by the Regional Electoral Tribunal of Sao Paulo, following rumors that the clown was illiterate, and thus unable to assume the job.
Titirica had to write a dictation taken from the book “Electoral Justice: A Retrospective” and read aloud the headings and titles of two articles published in a national news paper.
Titirica scored more than 30% in both tests, enough to pass, but prosecutor Maurice Lopes said he wasn’t satisfied with the results, citing that to be qualified as literate, the clown must demonstrate not only reading and writing abilities, but also demonstrate that he comprehends and absorbs what he reads, and can perform mathematical operations.
In Brazil, there are millions of people who are classified as functionally illiterate but who can read and write a few things, albeit often without understanding what they actually mean.
The clown, who captured the most votes of any candidate Twitted “almost there, guys. We will win” and thanked the support expressed by internet users, saying he believes the legal fuss will be over soon.
The president of the court, Walter de Almeida Guilherme, declared that Tiririca took the test, but that it still “cannot be confirmed that he knows how to read and write” since the final verdict will be delivered by Judge Aloizio Silveira.
If Silva is barred from office, the votes he received will be declared invalid and a complex formula will be used to redistribute the congressional seats at stake.
Brazil’s 513-seat lower house is filled using a proportional representation system that allocates seats to parties according to the total number of votes their candidates win, so successful candidates can sometimes pull several allies into office, something that the opposers of the clown (one of the most successful electoral candidates in the history of Brazil) are understandably weary of.
The prosecutors office will have five days to present their closing remarks, before judge Silveira determines if the former entertainer is apt to perform his duties as a deputy, and sit in office with the other newly elected deputies on december 17.