Brazilian president calls bribery charges a “soap opera plot”

World Today

Brazil’s President is calling corruption accusations against him, a “soap opera plot.”  Less than ten-months after taking office, President Michel Temer is charged with taking bribes from a major meat-packing company.

CGTN’s Lucrecia Franco reports the accusation is only the latest scandal to roil Brazil politics.

After less than a year in power, Brazil’s President Michel Temer could suffer the same fate as his predecessor, Dilma Rousseff. She was impeached and removed from office in August 2016.

Late on Monday, Brazil’s top prosecutor  Rodrigo Janot, charged Temer with taking  bribes, making him the first sitting president anywhere in Latin America to be indicted on criminal charges.

Temer is also under investigation for obstruction of justice and belonging to a criminal organization. In a response to these other accusations, he spoke defiantly.

“There is no plan B,” President Temer told supporters. “We have to keep moving forward. Therefore, nothing will destroy us, neither me or my ministers.”  

The case is now in the hands of the lower house of Brazil’s National Congress. If two-thirds of its 513 lawmakers approve the charges, and the Supreme Court accepts the case, Temer would be suspended for up to six months while an impeachment trial is underway.

If that happens, one of Temer’s closest allies, lower house speaker Rodrigo Maia would become interim president.

 However, Temer is confident he has enough support in Congress to avoid impeachment. In May, he said he expected to serve out his term and continue his economic reforms.

“Nobody will prevent us from carrying out these approved public policies, so let’s go ahead,” the Brazilian leader said.

Temer appears ready to fight to remain in office, but with investigations into other charges still underway, Brazilian commentators say it is too soon to know if Temer’s presidency will survive.