The Brazilian Congress has voted in favor of not to putting President Michel Temer on trial for corruption.
This means he will not be impeached nor forced to resign as the President of Brazil.
Temer has been battling corruption charges since May 2017. He has been accused to taking $160,000 bribe from a meatpacking company. This was reportedly picked up by Rodrigo Rocha Loures, who is a close aide to the President. Brazil’s prosecutor-general has alleged that the total money that Temer has taken as bribes amounts to over $12million. Temer has staunchly denied the charges.
If he had been impeached, then he would have been the second Brazilian President to be impeached in 12 months. His predecessor, Dilma Rousseff, was impeached due to charges of corruption as well.
During his period as the president, Temer has been marred by controversy. Six ministers had to step down from his cabinet due to scandals last year and he had to initiate investigations into another eight ministers as agreed by a Supreme Court judge this year.
The vote to decide on his future was held on August 2nd. There are 513 seats in the chamber, of which 263 voted against the motion to send him to trial. For the motion to pass, 342 votes were needed but only 227 voted in favor of a trial. We had predicted that he would remain as president in an earlier article.
Despite getting a break from the Congress, the president faces a tough road ahead. One of the recent polls showed that 81% of Brazilians believed that Temer should be sent to trial.
After the vote, the president addressed the country saying, “With the support the lower house has given me, we will pass all the reforms that the country needs. Now it is time to invest in our country. Brazil is ready to start growing again.”
Temer has said that he wishes to complete his full term, which ends in December 2018. According to BBC, Temer only has the support of 5% of the public.
Our assessment is that Temer might possibly be able to complete his term as he has the backing of the elites and powerful political factions. However, the political climate in the country is extremely charged. Former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has already been convicted of corruption in Brazil. It is quite possible that another scandal might erupt around Temer and his presidency would be threatened once again.