What's next for Brazil's Temer following corruption charge?

28 June, 2017, 03:27 | Author: Evan Mason
  • BRAZIL-POLITICS  CARDOSO

Attorney General Rodrigo Janot on Monday filed a complaint to the Supreme Federal Court in which he accused Temer and his federal deputy Rodrigo Rocha Loures of passive corruption for receiving about $150,000 in bribes from Joesley Batista, a food company business leader.

Even for Brazilians virtually inured to revelations of corruption among their politicians, the accusations against Temer were shocking; for one thing, the crimes the president is accused of happened just this year, three years into the country's largest ever corruption investigation.

Criminal charges against a sitting president have to be approved by about two-thirds of the lower house of Congress. 341 out of the 513 lawmakers would have to vote in favor.

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed. Brazil's benchmark Bovespa index was down 0.8 percent and the local currency slipped 0.6 percent in late afternoon trading.

If Temer is absolved by the court, he would be allowed to return to office.

The charge comes less than a year after Temer replaced Worker's Party President Dilma Rousseff, who was ousted on charges of criminal mismanagement of the country's budget.

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"Nothing will destroy us".

One of the main lines of defense of the president was to denounce a "manipulation" of this "record clandestine", but the expertise of the brazilian police certifies that no editing was performed, revealed Friday, the newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo. Lawmakers, particularly members of Temer's coalition, then spent several weeks soul-searching about whether to stick with the president or bail on him because of fears that association could be toxic for election chances next year.

Temer also said that Congress must continue with his proposed reforms to the labor laws and pension system, deeply unpopular measures aimed at helping Latin America's largest economy recover from a deep recession. Much of it is centred on companies paying billions of dollars in bribes to politicians and executives at state-run enterprises for lucrative contracts. Also, there is no agreement on a corruption-free consensus candidate who could fill Temer's shoes until scheduled elections in October 2018 if he were removed. But the president is expected to soon face charges of racketeering and obstruction of justice, each requiring a separate vote. Maia would take over in the interim while Temer is put on trial.

"Of course you could switch the political class with other people but the most corrupt ones in this whole affair would probably escape unharmed", said Nicolas Crapez, 34, on his way to work at the state government in Rio de Janeiro.

"I plead with the president to meditate over the opportunity of such a gesture of greatness", said Cardoso.

"I know what I did", Temer said following the release of the tapes. The president said his detractors were attempting to paralyze the country by staggering the charges against him.

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