Michel Temer, the President of Brazil, is facing a vote by the Congress that might remove him from the presidency.
He has been facing charges of corruption since May 2017.
Brazil, in South America, is one of the world’s biggest democracies. From 2000 to 2012, the country’s average annual GDP grew at a rate of over 5%. In 2012, the economy surpassed that of the United Kingdom, temporarily making it sixth largest economy in the world.
In 2017, it was reported that it was in the midst of its worst ever recession. The growth rate is now 8% lesser than it was in December 2014. However, it still remains one of the most influential countries in the region.
But the region has been grappling with increased political instability in the recent years. This is largely due to an ongoing investigation called “Operation Car Wash”. Dubbed the “Operation Car Wash”, it has already arraigned a number of politicians and elites.
The controversy surrounds the bribes paid to political leaders to secure deals with Petrobras (a semi-public Brazilian multinational corporation in the petroleum). In July 2017, former President of Brazil, Luiz Inacio da Silva (Lula) was convicted on charges of money laundering and corruption.
Additionally, federal prosecutors announced that they will be opening fresh inquiries into the conduct of eight ministers currently serving in the Cabinet. Inquiries will also reportedly be held into 24 senators and 39 lawmakers in the lower house of Congress.
Temer assumed power in August 2016. He took over from Dilma Rousseff, Brazil’s first female President, who was herself impeached on charges of corruption.
Temer has been accused of getting a $160,000 bribe from a meatpacking company called J&F. The money was allegedly picked up by Rodrigo Rocha Loures, who is a close aide to the President. He is also a former congressman. On July 14th 2017, Temer received a political reprieve when a congressional committee voted against recommending him be tried in the Supreme Court on corruption charges.
The current vote, which has been scheduled for August 2nd, will decide on the future of his presidency. According to the rules, at least 342 Congressmen are needed for the vote to begin. Currently, a large number of them have not registered to vote yet. Hence, it is possible that this vote could be delayed. Political scientists believe that Temer might have just enough votes to narrowly save his presidency.
Our assessment is that even if Temer is able to secure the votes to continue his presidency, his cabinet has been mired by the corruption charges. It is not likely he will have the support needed to continue his mandate. Temer may be lucky in the interim because the attention of the world is now on Venezuela.