Brazil’s new president has been accused of corrupt practises six months into his presidency.
Michel Temer, who took over the presidency after his predecessor Dilma Rousseff was impeached, has been accused of pressuring a cabinet minister into engaging in corrupt practises only six months since he took office as acting president.
His former Minister of Culture, Marcelo Calero told the Federal Police that the president had put pressure on him to sidestep a heritage preservation order and allow the building of luxury flats in a historic district in Salvador. This was apparently because Geddel Vieira Lima (another minister and a close friend of Mr Temer) had bought one of the flats. Mr Calero had previously blocked the project.
Mr Temer has denied the corruption allegations, but has admitted to discussing the project with Mr Calero. The government stated, however, that Mr Calero misunderstood what he said. Mr Lima has already stepped down from his post following the allegation.
This is the weakness that the left has been looking for ever since Ms Rousseff was impeached. Although, it is unlikely that Congress would approve an impeachment process against Mr Temer after conspiring against the left wing Workers’ Party who were in power 2002 until Ms Rousseff’s impeachment at the end of August.
However, Mr Temer’s government is very unpopular as it is imposing harsh austerity politics, including changing the Constitution to allow the government to slash education and health spending for the next 20 years – a policy which has provoked protests all over the country. At a crucial time when many are questioning the government’s legitimacy, the president cannot afford to have more dirt thrown at his administration.