Brazil’s Temer wins Congressional votes to block graft charge
BRASILIA: The lower house of the Brazilian Congress voted Wednesday to dismiss a corruption charge against President Michel Temer for allegedly accepting bribes, which prevented him from facing a possible Supreme Court trial he could expel from his post.
Temer has won enough votes to avoid opposition to obtain two-thirds of the votes required to convey the corruption case in higher court.
However, his support was less than expected and raised doubts about the future of his economic reform program and how he will vote in future votes in Congress over other charges could be filed against him.
The final count showed 263 deputies vote in favor of Temer, 227 votes against him – well below the 300 votes in favor of President Beto Mansur, scourge of deputy government in the lower house, predicted early Wednesday.
This jeopardizes the risk that lawmakers even take a serious reform of Brazil’s pension system is crucial to fill a general budget deficit and increase investor confidence in an economy emerging out of recession.
Several key lawmakers told Reuters in recent weeks that they were inclined to suspend this effort until the October 2018 presidential election.
But Temer promised after the vote to continue saying that “we will adopt all the reforms that the country needs.”
And he added: “Now is the time to invest in our country Brazil is ready to start developing.”
Opposition lawmakers, carrying double-bottomed briefcases, sang “Out of the Way” on the floor of the house early in the hectic day session.
The main coalition, Temer, the Brazilian Social Democratic Party (PSDB), which is trying to win next year’s presidential election, is divided on the need to support Temer, who shares economic policies or distances himself from his corrupt government.
PSDB leader Ricardo Tripoli, seeking tax approval, said Temer should be investigated, “not because we want to expel the president, but because Brazilians are tired of the suspicion that surrounds their politicians “.
The fact of protecting only thin Temer of the credibility of Brazil’s political system, said Tripoli.
Shares and Brazil’s currency rose early Wednesday after a vote in the closure has scored a victory for Temer and firm support for its reform program to reduce spending and restore confidence in government accounts.
Brazil’s chief prosecutor, Rodrigo Janot, asked Temer to organize to finally receive a total of 38 million reals ($ 12.2 million) in bribes of the largest meat to monitor the world JBS SA in exchange for political favors.
Temer and his legal team have denied the allegations.
His supporters said Janot had provided no evidence that he had violated the law.
Legislator Paulo Abi-Ackel, PSDB, credited Temer to return the economy, falling inflation, interest rates and record unemployment, and signs of renewed growth.