Culture&Arts

With court victory, hand of Brazil's president strengthened

With court victory, hand of Brazil's president strengthened

The Superior Electoral court voted four to three in Temer's favour, allowing the President to remain in office.

Many of Temer's allies, weakened by corruption allegations and unwilling to destabilise even further Brazil's rattled political establishment, are now less likely to abandon the President.

According to Veja, Temer's team is looking for a way to discredit Fachin - and thus hopefully sink the investigation.

Temer has denied the allegations and says the recording was doctored.

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The trial was the first of its kind in Brazil.

On Thursday, Brazil's seven-member Supreme Electoral Court, TSE, signaled their vote to acquit Rousseff and Temer's election victory. That decision was seen as giving the embattled Temer some breathing room, but the new accusations threaten to sink him anew, further constraining his ability to govern and reinvigorating calls for his resignation. "It's created a precedent in which you can do whatever you like and no one gets punished in the race for the presidency", said Ronaldo Caiado, the leader of the Democratas party in the Senate.

Judge Herman Benjamin, the rapporteur for the case, had said earlier in the day that sufficient evidence existed to invalidate the electoral outcome, presenting e-mails, testimony, bank records and other proof linking the winning ticket to corporate interests that made secret campaign contributions.

Brazil's long-running political crisis risks descending into open conflict between its leading institutions after a dramatic weekend that started with the president, Michel Temer, surviving a vote on his mandate but ended with him on the verge of being formally charged with corruption.

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Carmen Lucia, the president of the supreme court, issued a scathing statement Saturday, calling the alleged spying a tactic of dictatorships. He could appeal that decision to the supreme court, the Supreme Federal Tribunal, which would have no deadline to make a judgment.

Prosecutor General Rodrigo Janot sent his own statement, saying he "vehemently repudiates" any attempt to gather embarrassing details on a judge. Rousseff was impeached past year for illegally moving funds between government budgets. Soon after, another bombshell emerged: that Temer was being investigated for taking bribes. Prosecutors allege that Temer worked to obstruct justice and condoned efforts to pay for the silence of a potential witness.

While Temer has crossed a huge hurdle to staying in power, he is still facing threats on many fronts. The accusations of corruption against Temer have called into question whether he can finish out his term. Temer is trying to pass austerity measures to revive Brazil's economy, including bills to loosen labor laws and shore up the pension system.

"Temer will argue, 'I'm the guy who is going to give the country the bitter remedy that will cure it", said Carlos Manhanelli, political marketing specialist and chairman of the Brazilian Association of Political Consultants.

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