Brazil’s President Temer on trial for alleged 2014 campaign finance fraud

World Today

A trial is underway in Brazil – that could determine the fate of the country’s president, Michel Temer. It centers on the re-election campaign of 20-14, when Temer ran for vice president, and Dilma Rousseff for president.

 The trial’s outcome could cause yet another government shake-up in the South American Country.

CGTN’s Paulo Cabral reports from Sao Paulo.

This is a crucial week for President Michel Temer, as the country’s Superior Elections Court begins the trial that could end his government.  The charges are of fraud in the accounts of the Dilma Rousseff – Michel Temer 2014 reelection campaign. They would have taken undeclared money from companies. 

The seven Justices of the Elections Court will vote based on the report of the leading judge of the case, Herman Benjamin. It’s widely anticipated to recommend a conviction. But the outcome – decided by a majority of four – remains unpredictable.  And the trial also could stop if a judge requests time to review the case.

According to Brazil’s constitution, a new president would be chosen by the National Congress if Michel Temer is forced out early. However, there are growing calls for direct elections to be held instead. The demand comes mainly from left wing groups that opposed the impeachment of Dilma Rousseff – but there is also increasing support from other sectors of society.

The Workers Party hopes direct elections now could give them a chance return the presidency to Lula da Silva, who despite all allegations still leads voters intentions polls. But, even if Michel Temer wins this trial it’s all but certain that he will get to the end of his term in 2018. He’s now under investigation in the Car Wash Corruption Probe and battling the low popularity of his administration.

Brazil may be on the way to have its second deposed president in a little over a year. And as the country struggles with political crises it gets even harder to get out of economic recession.