65-Year-Old Mayor Marries 16-Year-Old Girl, Immediately Appoints Her Mother in Office

A Brazilian mayor sparked massive controversy earlier this month after legally marrying a 16-year-old girl and then appointing her mother Secretary of Culture and Tourism.

65-year-old Hissam Hussein Dehaini, the mayor of Araucária City, in southern Brazil, recently married a girl 49 years his junior the day after she turned 16, which is the legal age that someone can get legally married. This alone sparked controversy in the South American country, but the controversial union was also shadowed by serious accusations of nepotism and corruption. The Prosecutor’s Office in the Brazilian state of Paraná is investigating the appointment of the young bride’s mother to the position of Secretary of Culture and Tourism in Araucária just a day after the mayor’s wedding.

Photo: Olivia Bauso/Unsplash

According to Brazilian law, minors over the age of 16 can get legally married only with the approval of their parents, so the appointment of the young bride’s mother to a well-paid position within the municipality’s administration on April 13 was considered by many a bribe of sorts. Marilene Rode was already an official within the Ministry of Education, but with a much lower salary and less influence.


The news of Mayor Dehaini’s appointment of his mother-in-law on the day after his controversial wedding sparked a massive scandal in Araucária, a municipality in the metropolitan area of ​​Curitiba. This scandal grew even larger when it was discovered that the marriage had been made official by Hilda Lukalski Seima, as head of the city’s Civil Registry. Selma is also deputy mayor, as she and Dehaini both ran for elections in 2016 and 2020.


In response to the accusations, the mayor’s office issued a statement that inflamed spirits even more, claiming that the appointment was a “discretionary act of the head of the Executive Power, who considered that the official meets the necessary conditions for the exercise of the position, since she has 26 years of experience in public service.”


Obviously, the Prosecutor’s Office disagrees, so Mayor Dehaini and his 16-year-old wife, who was the city’s teenage beauty queen, will probably have a somewhat rocky honeymoon.

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