POLITICS

Let Him Join the Other Clowns

Grumpy the clown is going to Congress.

Francisco Silva won more votes than any other candidate for Brazil's lower house and now he has been cleared to take his seat. 

In early November, Silva took and passed his reading and writing test, meeting a constitutional mandate that federal lawmakers be literate.

But there were charges that he allegedly forged a literacy certificate.

On Wednesday, Judge Aloisio Silveira ruled that Silva did not lie when he signed a document swearing that he is literate and says he can read and write well enough to act as a congressman.

Silva became famous as the clown Tiririca, which means "Grumpy" in Portuguese. He received about 1.3 million votes in elections last October. 

The allegations that he was illiterate emerged after discrepancies between the handwriting on Silva's application to run for Congress and that on the document in which he swears he can read and write.

Based on reporting by the Associated Press.

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