Clean Record Law to be applied in a general election for the first time

The result of widespread popular mobilization and approved by Congress in 2010, the Clean Record Law (Complementary Law 135/2010) will be applied in a general election for the first time in 2014.

The result of widespread popular mobilization and approved by Congress in 2010, the Clean Record Law (Complementary Law 135/2010) will be applied in a general election for the first time in 2014. Enacted on June 4 2010, The Clean Record Law established more rigorous punishments for citizens and candidates who attempt against the honesty and ethics of elections or have specific convictions against them in the electoral, administrative or criminal justice. The law establishes 14 ‘ineligibility hypotheses' that subject those who commit such acts to becoming ineligible for eight years. The bill was approved by Congress after receiving the signatures of 1.3 million Brazilians in support of the new rules.
The story of the bill, now signed into law, actually starts two years and two months before its official enactment, with the launch of a popular campaign (the Clean Record campaign) in April 2008. The campaign's aim was to improve the profile of candidates for elective office, encouraging voters to get to know the prior life history of politicians. The ineligibility criteria under the Clean Record Law, which punish anyone who commits any irregularity or offense under them (electoral or otherwise), were introduced in Article 1, Section I of the "Law of Ineligibilities" (Complementary Law 64/90) as individual subsections.
The Clean Record Law went into effect on June 7, 2010, the date of its publication in the Official Gazette, but only began to be applied in the municipal elections of 2012. At the time of its adoption, there was much debate on whether the law should or not go into effect then, due to the text of Article 16 of the Federal Constitution. That provision establishes that rules that modify the electoral process may only be in effect after a one-year period. 
The Superior Electoral Court (TSE) decided in August 2010 that the Law would apply to the general elections of that year, despite its having been published less than one year before the date of the election. The Court decided on the matter after reviewing the first case requesting that a candidacy be rejected based on ineligibility criteria in the Clean Record Law. However, the Federal Supreme Court (STF) established the Law could not be adopted for the 2010 general elections because that would contradict Article 16 of the Federal Constitution.
Later, in February 2012, the Supreme Court decided, on its review of two cases, that the Clean Record Law was constitutional and valid for the municipal elections of that year. Based on this understanding, the Electoral Justice reviewed thousands of cases related to candidates pointed as ineligible in accordance with the Law. Of the 7,781 cases on candidacy applications that reached the TSE on the 2012 elections, 3,366 (43% of the total) had to do with the Clean Record Law.  
The Clean Record Law encourages the practice of conscientious voting, highlighting the importance of knowing the past history of candidates based on their behavior and actions. The Law has caused the removal by the Electoral Court of a number of mayors and deputy mayors, and is also the reason for the majority of new elections recalled for the filling of these vacancies.
Subsection 'g' of the Clean Record Law is the one that results in the largest number of candidacy registration denials. It establishes ineligibility for the elections of the next eight years, counted as of the decision, for candidates who have their accounts rendered during the exercise of public functions or positions rejected due to irremediable irregularity or intentional act of improper conduct after final decision of the competent body, unless such decision has been suspended or annulled by the Judiciary. Based on subsection 'g', the TSE denied the "registration" (the entry into office as elected officials) of candidates elected for mayor in the 2012 elections in the cities of Pedra Branca do Amapari, in Amapá; Diamantina, in Minas Gerais; Meruoca, in Ceará; Bonito and Sidrolândia, in Mato Grosso do Sul; Santa Maria da Boa Vista, in Pernambuco; Joaquim Távora, in Paraná; and General Salgado, in São Paulo, among others.
Subsection 'j', in turn, makes ineligible for eight years (counted as of the election) those who have been convicted by a final decision (or by a judgment of a collegiate court of the Electoral Justice) of electoral fraud, vote buying, indirect vote buying through donations, illicit fundraising or spending activities with campaign funds or engaging in conduct prohibited by public servants in election campaigns that lead to the cancellation of an elected official's registration or diploma. The TSE has denied, based on this subsection, appeals by elected mayors in the following municipalities (among others): Cachoeira Dourada, in Minas Gerais; Primavera, in Pernambuco; Eugênio de Castro, Fortaleza dos Valos, Novo Hamburgo and Tucunduva, in Rio Grande do Sul; Balneário Rincão, in Santa Catarina; Pires do Rio, in Goiás, and Coronel Macedo, in São Paulo.
Subsection 'd' defines as ineligible (for the election in which they are running or have been elected and inaugurated, as well as for those in the following eight years) those who have representations against themselves upheld by the Electoral Justice in a final judgment (or in a judgment given by a collegiate body) in a case of abuse of economic or political power.
Subsection 'e' prevents from disputing elections citizens convicted by a final judgment (or one rendered by a collegiate judicial body), from their sentencing until eight years after their sentence has been served, of: abuse of authority (where there is sentencing to loss of office or disqualification for the exercise of public office); money laundering or concealment of assets, rights and cash; crimes against the popular economy, public faith and credit, public administration and public property; and electoral crimes for which the law stipulates imprisonment, among others.
Another subsection that has already prevented several candidates from taking office is subsection "l”. It makes ineligible (from condemnation or final decision until eight years after serving the sentence) those who have had their political rights suspended (in a final judgment or one rendered by a collegiate court) due to intentional act of administrative misconduct resulting in harm to public property and illicit enrichment.
Subsection "m" establishes ineligibility of eight years (unless the act in question is annulled or suspended by the Judiciary) for citizens who have excluded from exercising their profession by a decision of their professional class association based on ethical-professional irregularities.
Another subsection ("n") makes ineligible, for a period of eight years after the decision that recognizes the wrongful act, those convicted (by a final judgment or one rendered by a collegiate judicial body) of undoing or pretending to undo a matrimonial bond or a civil union bond to avoid incurring into cause for ineligibility.
The remaining seven subsections establish, among other things, ineligibility for the President of the Republic, Governors, Mayors, Senators, federal, state or district Congressman and local councilmen who resign from their position to avoid a possible future forfeiture of elected office, holders of office in the direct, indirect or foundational public administration convicted of benefitting themselves or others through abuse of economic or political power, as well as for individual and managers/heads of corporations responsible for electoral donations regarded as illegal.
The Law also provides for ineligibility (for the same period) for the following citizens: those dismissed from public service due to administrative or judicial proceeding, unless the act has been suspended or annulled by the Judiciary; magistrates and members of the General Attorney's Office who are compulsorily retired because of sanctions, who have lost their position due to a judicial sentence or who have requested voluntary retirement or resignation pending disciplinary administrative proceedings; and those declared “unworthy of officialdom”.