Brazilians call for president to resign after graft charges

Brazilians call for president to resign after graft charges

Brazilians call for president to resign after graft charges

On Friday, the Supreme Court released court filings in which Prosecutor General Rodrigo Janot accused Temer and a senior senator of attempting to block a huge anti-corruption investigation known as "Car Wash".

Brazilians were shocked by a recording disclosed last week that appeared to show Mr Temer condoning the payment of hush money to a lawmaker jailed in a corruption probe that has ensnared dozens of politicians and executives in the last three years.

He has asked the Supreme Court to suspend the investigation into his alleged crimes, arguing that the main evidence - a secretly recorded audio - had been doctored. The president, a career centrist politician whose views have turned more conservative, rose to power just a year ago after a bitter power struggle resulting in the impeachment of his leftist predecessor Dilma Rousseff.

Temer has so far rejected mounting calls for his resignation and is scrambling to keep together his governing alliance to avoid the possibility of impeachment.

The accusations against President Michel Temer have plunged Latin America's largest nation into crisis yet again.

He is in prison after a "Car Wash" judge convicted him of bribe-taking, but the powerful insider has always been rumored to be threatening to spill secrets on other politicians.

"He has won a bit of time", said Gesner Oliveira, a professor at the Fundacao Getulio Vargas in Rio de Janeiro. "This is not about Temer but is about investment, generating new jobs and improving the lives of Brazilians".

Mr Temer also questioned the motives of the man who made the recording, JBS meatpacking company executive Joesley Batista.

Soon before Mr Temer spoke, the Brazilian Socialist Party announced it was breaking from his coalition.

More news: Preds Players, Coach Talk Playoffs, Game 6

Temer and his most trusted aides, including Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles, worked the phones furiously over the last two days to convince politicians and investors to back him amid what some analysts are calling the worst crisis since Brazil returned to democracy in 1985.

On Sunday, nationwide protests are planned by leftist groups and turnout will be closely watched as a gauge of the public mood. They have been crucial to Temer's push for austerity reforms, which are hated by ordinary Brazilians but praised by economists.

Whereas the 11.2 billion reais sought by prosecutors would represent a penalty equal to over 5 percent of the group's total revenue past year, J&F countered with an offer of just 1 billion reais, or about 0.5 percent of 2016 revenues.

The chance that the government can approve by October a key pension reform it needed to fix the country's depleted public accounts has dropped to no more than 5 percent, said Renato Nobile, CEO of Bullmark Financial Group.

Temer noted that the Folha de S. Paulo newspaper reported that the 39-minute recording had been edited. As her vice president, he immediately took over when she was pushed out.

If the court made a decision to try Mr Temer, he would be suspended from office for up to 180 days.

The PSB will also seek a constitutional amendment to call for direct elections if the presidency is vacated, instead of the indirect elections in Congress now mandated, according to PSB president Carlos Siqueira. "We want Temer to leave but we don't want an indirectly elected president", he told supporters at Sao Bernardo do Campo, near Sao Paulo.

Cunha was convicted in March of offences that included receiving bribes in connection with a contract Petrobras signed in the African nation of Benin.

Related news