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Brazilian Congress Ousts Former Presidential Aide

Brazilian lawmakers have voted to oust former presidential aide and member of Congress Jose Dirceu over a vote-buying scandal that has rocked the government.

Congress early Thursday voted 293-192 with ten abstentions to expel Mr. Dirceu and bar him from running for office again for at least eight years. He has denied any wrongdoing.

The scandal erupted following allegations that the ruling Workers Party, known as PT, paid $12,000 a month to several lawmakers to win their support on key votes. The party has apologized to the country for the scandal, blaming it on rogue aides.

Polls have shown the scandal has hurt President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's popularity and undermined his chances for winning re-election next year.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.