Brazil′s President Michel Temer wins time in corruption crisis | Americas| North and South American news impacting on Europe | DW | 22.05.2017
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Brazil

Brazil's President Michel Temer wins time in corruption crisis

A key coalition partner has delayed its decision on continued support, but Brazilian President Michel Temer continues to face nationwide street protests. Another impeachment request has been lodged with Congress.

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Brazil: Temer demands suspension of corruption probe

Key allies to his center-right PMDB party, the PSDB social democrats had been set to decide on Sunday whether to withdraw from President Michel Temer's coalition government.

The PSDB has four ministers, 47 lower house deputies and 10 senators. It represents an important voting bloc both for approving reforms and for deciding on any impeachment of the president.

But without explanation, the PSDB meeting was canceled. Temer met with ministers and legislators at his residence on Sunday, although a planned dinner did not take place due to a lower than expected attendance, according to the Folha newspaper.

"He has won a bit of time," Gesner Oliveira, a professor at the Fundacao Getulio Vargas in Rio de Janeiro, told the Agence France-Presse news agency.

Bar association lodges impeachment request

Late Saturday, the Order of Brazilian Lawyers (OAB) voted overwhelmingly to lodge an impeachment request with Congress. The bar association was also influential in the impeachment of former President Dilma Rousseff last year.

The OAB said Temer had failed to denounce criminal activities, broke with presidential decorum and promised undue favors to individuals.

"We are going to ask for the impeachment of another president of the republic, the second in a year and four months," OAB President Claudio Lamachia said in a statement. 

Michel Temer (Getty Images/AFP/E. Sa)

Temer was deputy to Dilma Rousseff before she was impeached last year

There are at least eight other requests for impeachment filed in Congress.

Street protests

Street protests took place in each of Brazil's major cities on Sunday, organized by leftist groups condemning corruption and calling for the president to step down.

But only a few hundred people turned up to each rally, including those in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, far fewer than the tens of thousands who had rallied in previous months.

Protesters in Sao Paulo braved the rain, chanted and held banners reading "Temer Out!" Many said they were protesting Temer's proposals to loosen labor laws and change the pension system as much as they were responding to the recent allegations.

Temer: Evidence 'doctored'

Temer tried to discredit evidence lodged against him in a televised speech on Saturday. Temer claims an audio recording of a meeting in March with food company chairman Joesley Batista, in which they appear to discuss payoffs and influence-trafficking, has been doctored.

The recording appears to have Temer endorsing the payment of bribes to ex-House Speaker Eduardo Cunha in exchange for his silence. Cunha is serving a 15-year jail sentence after a conviction for corruption. He was instrumental in Rousseff's impeachment.

Should Temer be impeached or decide to resign, Congress would pick a replacement to rule until after elections scheduled for next year.

jm/cmk (Reuters, AP)

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