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Brazil: Congress Rejects Presidential Vetoes to Petroleum Royalties Law

(Mar. 11, 2013) On March 7, 2013, the Brazilian Congress rejected the vetoes by President Dilma Roussef on November 30, 2012, of parts of a law that redefined the distribution of petroleum royalties in Brazil (Lei No. 12,734, de 30 de Novembro de 2012, PLANALTO.GOV.BR). (Danilo Fariello & Fernanda Krakovics, Congresso Derruba Veto de Dilma Sobre Royalties de Petróleo, O GLOBO (Mar. 7, 2013).)

All producing states affected by the rejection are studying the best approach to question the decision of the Congress at the Federal Supreme Court. Representatives of Rio de Janeiro were quoted as saying that Rio will ask the Court to annul the congressional session that rejected the veto, arguing that during the voting procedure, the President of the Federal Senate did not allow Members of Congress to ask questions and imposed a five-minute limit on their speeches. According to the <?Rio representatives, such conduct characterizes a violation of both the Senate's bylaw (Regimento Interno do Senado Federal, Resolution No. 93, 1970, as amended to 2010, Federal Senate website) and the Constitution (Constituição Federal (Oct. 5, 1988), PLANALTO.GOV.BR).

Although displeased with the rejection, President Dilma will respect the legislature’s decision and re-promulgate the law without the vetoed provisions. Without the vetoes, the share of the petroleum royalties of the producing states will decrease to 20%, instead of the current 26.5%. (Fariello & Krakovics, supra.)