SAO PAULO Ė Orestes Quercia, a historical leader of the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party, the biggest political force in the country, died Friday in Sao Paulo of prostate cancer, officials said. He was 72.
Quercia served as senator, national congressman and governor of Sao Paulo state between 1987 and 1991, but his time in office was clouded by accusations of corruption.
The politician was one of the founders of the party known as the PMDB, and actively contributed to the process of democratization in Brazil following the 1964-1985 military dictatorship.
Between 1991 and 1993 he held the post of party chairman, and as leader of the PMDB, was instrumental in removing from office President Fernando Collor de Mello, who was forced to resign in 1992 amid a corruption scandal.
Quercia ran for president in the 1994 election won by Fernando Henrique Cardoso, but was soundly defeated, coming in fourth with few votes.
He later failed in consecutive elections as he again ran for governor of Sao Paulo and for the Senate. EFE