More and More Congressmen Are Betting Brazil’s President Will Soon Be Ousted

    Brazilian House of Representatives in Brasília

    Congressional support for Brazilian President Michel Temer is weakening, lawmakers said, days before the lower house is expected to vote on whether he should stand trial on a corruption charge.

    Temer, whose conservative government’s approval rating is languishing in single digits, is clinging to power after being charged with arranging to take millions of dollars in bribes, the first sitting Brazilian president to face such criminal proceedings.

    The charge has increased tensions in an already chaotic political scenario in Latin America’s biggest country and have led investors to question whether the government will be able to push through a business-friendly agenda of social security and labor reforms.

    Key to Temer’s survival is whether the Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB), Brazil’s third largest, will stick with his coalition despite deep divisions in its ranks. If it abandons Temer, many smaller parties are expected to follow suit.

    PSDB deputy Caio Narcio, who has supported Temer and has cautioned his party against leaving the coalition, said on Friday the president’s situation was deteriorating.

    “Temer’s government is being hollowed out. It is encountering weekly defeats,” Narcio said.

    Many in the PSDB are wary of backing Temer for too long as the party plans to run its own presidential candidate next year. Some of its legislators are also keen to distance themselves from Temer to improve their own electoral prospects.

    Several lawmakers said support was growing for lower house speaker Rodrigo Maia, the first in the line of succession. If the house votes to put Temer on trial in the Supreme Court, Maia would take office for 180 days.

    “Rodrigo is now seen as a way out of the crisis, when before he was not,” Narcio said.

    Maia taking power would not slow efforts to pass economic reforms, lawmakers said. It might even help accelerate them as the president would no longer be embroiled in corruption charges.

    Center-right Progressive Party deputy Jerônimo Goergen said Maia called him to say that, although he was not presenting himself as a candidate, he would keep the economic policy unchanged if he were to replace Temer.

    General-Prosecutor Rodrigo Janot charged Temer last week in a graft scheme involving the world’s largest meatpacker, JBS SA. Executives said the president took bribes for resolving tax matters and facilitating loans from state-run banks.

    Janot said Temer made deals under which JBS would have paid him 38 million Reais (some US$ 11 million) over the next nine months. Temer has repeatedly denied the accusation.

    Under Brazilian law, two-thirds of the lower house of congress must vote to put a sitting president on trial. Although the vote is expected as soon as next week, it could be delayed to early August after a congressional recess.

    Temer is expected by most to survive the lower house vote on the first charge against him. But Janot piled on pressure last week by saying he will likely charge Temer with racketeering and obstruction of justice in the coming weeks.

    Mercopress

    Tags:

    • Show Comments (0)

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    comment *

    • name *

    • email *

    • website *

    Ads

    You May Also Like

    Former Brazil Finance Minister Guido Mantega Arrested on Corruption Charges - Marcelo Casal Jr./ABr

    Brazil’s Petrobras Corruption Scandal Gets Lula’s Finance Minister Arrested

    Brazilian police arrested Guido Mantega, a former finance minister under presidents Luiz Inácio Lula ...

    Elections: A Far-Right Former Captain Surges as Brazil’s Donald Trump

    Since the election victory of Donald Trump, many have tirelessly talked about populism. It ...

    Lula hugs senator Gleisi Hoffmann just elected first woman president of the PT - Ricardo Stuckert/PT

    Brazil’s PT Elects New Party Leader and Moves to Make Lula President Again

    Brazil’s leader of the Workers Party (PT) in the Senate, Gleisi Hoffmann, from the ...

    Corruption

    In the List of Least Corrupt Brazil Gets 80th Place in the World

    Brazil ranks 80 among 180 countries in the latest report from Transparency International (TI), ...

    United States' president, Donald J. Trump

    Rousseff, Brazil’s Ex-president, Calls Trump’s Meddling in Venezuela Irresponsible and Criminal

    Washington’s attempts to interfere in politics in South America, including in Venezuela, are “extremely ...

    Has the Brazilian Judiciary Become a Mafia?

    The Brazilian judiciary has historically been so rife with corruption and nepotism that one ...