In Another Blow for Brazil’s President, a Key Ally Says There’s Enough Evidence He’s Corrupt

Brazil’s attorney general has accused Temer of accepting bribes from a meatpacking executive in exchange for helping the company obtain favorable government decisions. The president has denied wrongdoing and vows to fight the charge.

Now, a legislator from the PMBD, the same party of the president, Sérgio Zveiter, who was appointed by a Chamber of Deputies committee to study and report back on the Temer case, told the panel there is sufficient evidence to try the president.

“For now, what we have is evidence of the involvement” in corruption, Zveiter said during a lively session in which he was both cheered and jeered by fellow lawmakers when he finished his report.

The committee is to vote in the coming days on Zveiter’s recommendation. But the final decision on whether the president should stand trial rests with the full Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of Congress.

Still, the report represents another blow for embattled Temer, who is struggling to hang on to his job, since Zveiter belongs to the president’s own party.

If two-thirds of the 513 deputies should vote to accept Zveiter’s finding, Temer would be suspended for up to six months pending a trial in Supreme Federal Tribunal. Chamber of Deputies Speaker Rodrigo Maia would take over presidential duties.

After Zveiter spoke, Temer’s lawyer, Antonio Claudio Mariz de Oliveira, presented his defense, calling the allegations “a lie.”

Temer Reacts

In a statement made this July 11, Temer said that “whatever the result” regarding the corruption allegations against him, the decision will be respected.

“This is not the time for doubt or apprehension, but rather for quick answers,” he added while talking about the vote held by the lower house commission on the charges filed against him by Prosecutor-General Rodrigo Janot.

On Monday (July 10), Deputy Sérgio Zveiter recommended the advancement of the case targeting the president. After his report was reviewed, deliberations were suspended and slated to be resumed on Thursday (13). At least 34 votes of the total 66 congress members making up the commission are necessary to repeal Zveiter’s report

Temer went on to say that the improvement in economic indicators comes a result of the “urgent” overhaul agenda “responsibly” brought forward by himself.

“It is often said that when the economy goes well there’s no need for government. Yes, there is,” Temer said. “This is the government bringing the trains back on track, so that those reaching 2019 may catch the train with the tracks in place.”

Temer acknowledged the existence of “a few protests” against the structural reforms proposed by the government, but argued that “the caravan goes by, we are the caravan, we’re going by. We must move ahead.”

MP/ABr

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