Bar Association and People in the Streets Call for Brazil President’s Ouster

After overseeing president Dilma Rousseff’s ouster and now, embroiled in a series of bribe scandals, Brazilian president, Michel Temer, has had his own impeachment process protocoled by the Order of Attorneys of Brazil, known by its Portuguese acronym OAB.

The OAB Federal Council voted in favor of the decision Sunday morning, reported. While 25 members of the council voted in favor of Temer’s impeachment, only one vote was made against and one abstained.

Each vote corresponds to the OAB’s head representative in each Brazilian state. The request is expected to be filed with Brazil’s lower house of Congress in the coming days.

According to the commission, Temer’s crimes are well defined. He “lacked decorum and disobeyed the Public Servant Law” when meeting with Joesley Batista, owner of the Brazilian meat company JBS, the report argued.

The bar association’s decision comes after the release of a wiretap that revealed that Temer, in a meeting with Batista, discussed hush money being paid to Eduardo Cunha, former speaker of Brazil’s lower house of representatives, so that embarrassing crimes jeopardizing the legitimacy of Temer’s presidency would remain secret.

Temer’s response to those bribes was simply, “Look, you’ve got to keep that up.”

Batista also discussed bribing two judges, a prosecutor and a member of a police task force during the infamous wiretap that was reported by O Globo on May 17 and released the following day.

Claudio Lamachia, national president of OAB, emphasized that Temer’s attitude toward the incriminating details presented by Batista was not only deplorable but also punishable by law.

By not denouncing or seeking competent authorities when presented with these crimes, Temer had acted on behalf of his personal interests as opposed to the greater public interest.

According to the OAB, Temer had violated Article 85 of Brazil’s Constitution, which defines presidential and public servant crimes as being those committed when a public official doesn’t alert the proper authorities of illicit acts.

The OAB’s decision to file a request for Temer’s impeachment comes in the wake of mass public calls for his removal. On Thursday, Paraná Institute Research released a survey indicating that 87 percent of Brazilians favor the immediate removal of Temer. Meanwhile, 88 percent support Temer’s impeachment, resignation or removal by the Supreme Court.

Occupy Brasília

All the king’s horses and all the king’s men are abandoning the president of Brazil, Michel Temer, as his presidential cards blow violently in the wind.

Even prior to this disaster, an ever-growing number of social movements, organized by Popular Brasil Front, other trade unions, and People Without Fear, have summoned mass mobilizations that will result in a civic occupation of Brasília called Occupy Brasília on Wednesday, May 24.

Other groups participating in Occupy Brasília include Central Workers Union, CUT, Rural Landless Workers Movement, MST, and the Roofless Workers Movement, MSTS.

Occupy Brasília organizers are hopeful that their mass demonstrations will be a crucial moment for the removal of Temer, a president who oversaw the ousting of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff. Occupy Brasília was scheduled prior to the release of a wiretap which implicated Temer in a string of bribes.

Referring to Temer’s involvement in bribes, Josué Rocha, a member of the MSTS, said that “We can’t accept this.” He added that “our journey to Brasília, besides our intention of conclusively bringing an end to these reforms, will be decisive in our demands for Temer’s removal and immediate, democratic elections.”

Joesley Batista, owner of Brazilian meat company, JBS, confessed on Friday that Temer had received bribes from his company since 2010. That year alone he reportedly received roughly US$ 1 million from JBS and during Rousseff’s impeachment process had received about US$ 85,000 for online political marketing expenditures.

The wiretap also revealed that Temer confirmed, “Look, you’ve got to keep that up,” when Batista confided that bribes were being paid to jailed Eduardo Cunha, former speaker of Brazil’s lower house of representatives.

These illegal payments were made to keep Cunha’s mouth shut about embarrassing secrets that could jeopardize the legitimacy of Temer’s presidency.

Ricardo Gebrim, a member of Popular Consult, reiterated that May 24, “adds extraordinary significance to the current conjuncture of events,” adding that, “it will play a decisive role,” in the struggle for immediate, democratic elections.

Despite his attempts to ward off ever-increasing calls for his resignation, Temer finds himself isolated, battered. On Thursday, Paraná Institute Research released a survey indicating that 87 percent of Brazilians favor the immediate removal of Temer. Meanwhile, 88 percent support Temer’s impeachment, resignation, or his removal by the Supreme Court.

Socialists Pull Out of Coalition

President Michel Temer appealed to the nation again on Saturday, saying he had filed a petition with the country’s highest court to suspend the corruption investigation against him. Visibly defiant, he again refused to resign saying “Brazil will not be derailed.”

Brazil’s top prosecutor has accused Temer of corruption, obstruction of justice and being part of a criminal organization, according to court documents released Friday.

Temer wants to suspend the investigation until experts can analyze a March 7 audio recording that appears to show him endorsing the payment of bribes to ex-House Speaker Eduardo Cunha for his silence.

Cunha had helped orchestrate the impeachment and removal from office of former President Dilma Rousseff last year.

He was sentenced in March to 15 years in prison for corruption and money laundering.

“That clandestine recording was manipulated and doctored with [bad] intentions,” Temer said at a news conference in Brasília, questioning the motives of the JBS meatpacking company executive Joesley Batista who made the recording in March at the president’s residence in the capital.

According to daily newspaper O Globo, the recording was made as part of a plea bargain Batista arranged with prosecutors investigating the “Car Wash” corruption scandal centered on national oil company Petrobras.

O Globo, the main newspaper of Brazil’s biggest media company, said in an editorial that Temer “has lost the moral, ethical, political, and administrative conditions to continue governing Brazil.”

Ahead of Temer’s statement, the Brazilian Socialist Party announced on Saturday it was leaving Temer’s ruling coalition and called on him to resign.

The Socialists have seven senators and 35 deputies. Their withdrawal from government puts in jeopardy plans to reform the pension system and labor laws.

Several other parties in Temer’s coalition said they would consult with their members on Saturday on whether or not to remain.

Temer was former President Dilma Rousseff’s vice president and came to power when she was ousted for illegally managing the federal budget.

At least eight pieces of proposed legislation to impeach Temer have been submitted to Congress.

teleSUR/DW

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