Jueves, 15 Noviembre, 2018

Brazil Electoral Court Begins Voting on Temer Election in Campaign-Financing Trial

Superior Electoral Court Minister Herman Benjamin left talks with Minister Luiz Fux during a session of the court in Brasilia Brazil Thursday Brazil Electoral Court Begins Voting on Temer Election in Campaign-Financing Trial
Irune Rengel | 14 Junio, 2017, 10:50

Last Friday, a court dismissed charges that he received illegal campaign funds in the 2014 election - charges that could have seen him removed from office.

If the electoral court votes to remove Mr. Temer from office, he has said he would appeal the decision and is expected to remain in office while he waits for the Supreme Court's ruling.

That company recently reached agreement on a $3.2 billion fine for giving $186 million in bribes to almost 1,900 politicians, echoing the scandal that brought down Rousseff and Cunha - a far-reaching, $3 billion graft scandal centered on state oil company Petrobras.

Mr Temer had little time to savour Friday's victory as the crisis deepened on Saturday when Cármen Lúcia, the highly respected president of the supreme court, issued a statement warning that any use of Brazil's secret services to spy on her court would constitute "a very grave crime".

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Last month, a recording emerged that apparently captured Temer endorsing hush money to ex-House Speaker Eduardo Cunha, a former Temer ally serving 15 years in prison for corruption and money laundering.

Temer greeted the verdict as "a sign that the national institutions continue to guarantee the smooth functioning of Brazilian democracy", his spokesman said afterward.

The electoral court's case against Mr. Temer, though based on information stemming from Car Wash, is separate from that probe and stems from a complaint filed with the court in 2014 by the party that lost the election, the Brazilian Social Democratic Party, or PSDB.

Temer denied the accusation in a statement. There are early hints the judges may absolve the president and his 2014 campaign of illegal contributions.

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In a story posted late Friday on its website, Veja magazine cites an anonymous presidential aide as saying Temer and his advisers asked the Brazilian Intelligence Agency to spy on Edson Fachin, the justice in charge of an investigation into whether Temer accepted bribes and endorsed buying the silence of a former lawmaker convicted of corruption.

The political turmoil in Brazil - that began with the push past year to remove Rousseff from power for violating budget laws - has reached a fever pitch. Soon after that, details of another bombshell came out: that Temer was being investigated for allegedly receiving bribes.

"Electoral justice can't be used as a third round of elections without violating the electoral order", said Maia, adding that a lack of moderation would "risk annihilating the sovereign will of the people". He's accused of corruption and obstructing justice. The case centred on his campaign as running mate to President Rousseff, and if found guilty his presidency, replacing Ms Rousseff after she was impeached, would have been annulled.

The main parties in Temer's coalition have stuck with him so far, but there are reports of worry in the ranks that being associated with his government could be detrimental to re-election campaigns next year.

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Ironically, Temer's strongest argument to stay in power is that he can deliver major reforms to labor laws and the country's pension system.


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