BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) The Brazilian Senate has approved the partial elimination of secret voting in both houses of Congress. It was one of demonstrators' demands during a wave of protests that swept the country in June.
Tuesday night, the Senate approved an amendment that says the secret ballot can no longer be used when voting on presidential vetoes or when deciding if a legislator should be stripped of his or her congressional seat.
But secret ballots could still be used when deciding on the appointment of federal judges, ambassadors, the attorney general and of the heads Brazil's regulatory agencies.
It was a watered down version of September's approval by the lower house of Congress that approved a measure that eliminated the secret ballot in all rulings made in federal, state and municipal legislatures.
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"The vote by the Senate was an important step in the direction of a more transparent society, but it still is not enough to end the corruption in our country," said Michael Freitas Mohallem, one of the directors of activist group Avaaz.
He said the group will keep campaigning for the full elimination of the secret ballot.
Sen. Rodrigo Rollemberg agreed with the group's plans, saying the Senate "cannot be an institution that hides behind the secret ballot. The people demand to be part of its decisions and have the right to know how their representatives vote."