Brazil’s President continues unpopular policies, may face corruption trial

World Today

Brazilian President Michel Temer has been charged with corruption by the Prosecutor General.

His fate now lies with the National Congress, which votes next week on whether he will be suspended to stand trial.

Despite the political turmoil and his 7 percent approval rating – Temer is staying-the-course on unpopular economic measures to cover this year’s budget deficit.

CGTN’s Lucrecia Franco reports.

Follow Lucrecia C. Franco on Twitter @LucreciaFranco

Brazilians have been paying more to fill their tanks after beleaguered President Temer announced a decree that roughly doubles taxes on fuels, part of an effort to reduce the government’s deficit.

The rise comes as the latest blow to cash-strapped residents.

One of them, Bruno Fernandes, said, “I think it is totally unfair what the government is doing to us, to make us pay off a debt we did not create.”

Many Brazilians are angry. Last month, thousands took to the streets to protest against one of Temer’s reforms that makes the country’s labor laws more flexible and could threaten job security.

More unpopular measures announced by the president include a hike in mining royalties and a deforestation bill said to favor the agribusiness sector. The government is in the red, and Temer admits it.

“The population will understand,” he stated, “because this is a government that doesn’t lie, it does not give false data. It is a real government.”

All this happening as Temer, who took over after Dilma Rousseff was impeached last year, faces a vote in congress on Aug. 2 on whether he should be suspended and tried for corruption.

Although President Temer has the lowest approval ratings in recent history, some analysts believe he has enough political force and votes in congress to block the trial.

Sonia Fleury, a political analyst, said next week’s vote is merely political.

“They are both trying to save themselves while they sink,” she explained. “Both the government and congress, where many are being investigated, want the proceedings to end.”

While Temer waits to see what happens, prosecutors are expected to file two more charges against the president, including obstruction of justice and criminal association.