Brazil's Tourism Minister Henrique Eduardo Alves resigned Thursday after a short tenure marred by allegations of corruption in the massive Petrobras scandal that has been linked to some of Brazil's richest businessmen and powerful politicians.
A close ally of acting president Michel Temer, Alves is the third minister to step down since Temer took office just over a month ago. The latter has repeatedly come under fire for appointing politicians facing corruption investigations to ministerial posts.
Alves is one of more than 20 politicians facing allegations of having received bribes from Transpetro, a Petrobras subsidiary, the Associated Press reported. Alves, however, has denied any wrongdoing on his part.
In his letter of resignation, Alves explained the move by saying, “I don’t want to create awkwardness or any kind of difficulty for the government.” The government did not disclose the reason behind Alves’ resignation.
Former president, Dilma Rousseff, was suspended and is facing an impeachment trial on accounts of administrative misconduct and disregarding the federal budget . Rousseff was also on the board of the state-owned energy company when ‘Operation Car Wash’ placed Petrobras at the center of what many consider the largest corruption scandal in Brazil's history.
Temer’s first minister to resign was Planning Minister Romero Juca. This came just a little over a week after Temer assumed presidency. Juca stepped down after leaked audio recordings suggested he was plotting to obstruct the Petrobras corruption probe.
A week later, Temer's head of the Transparency Ministry, Fabiano Silveira, left after he was heard in the leaked audios instructing a politician investigated in the same case.
The tourism minister’s resignation comes weeks before the country gears up to host the Olympics in August this year.