Brazil prosecutor seeks graft charge against president

On Monday #Brazil's top federal prosecutor, Rodrigo Janot charged the #President of Brazil, #Michel Temer with taking multimillion-dollar bribes.

Temer's supporters say they have between 250 and 300 votes in the 513-seat lower house to block a trial. Temer is alleged to be heard discussing cash bribes to Eduardo Cunha, the former speaker of the House, who is now in prison over the Petrobras scandal.

Whether Attorney General Rodrigo Janot's formal accusation late Monday pressures Temer to consider resigning - he has insisted he won't and denied any wrongdoing - could depend on the reaction of lawmakers and the markets in Latin America's largest nation in the days and weeks ahead.

Since he took office in May past year, Temer's market-friendly administration has been dogged by scandal, accusations of illegitimacy and low levels of popularity.

For more than three years, investigators in Brazil have uncovered stunning levels of corruption enveloping the political class and business elites.

However, Temer's aides say they are confident he has sufficient support in the scandal-plagued Congress - where dozens of lawmakers have been caught up in the same sweeping graft probe - to get the charge thrown out.

The accusation comes with a blistering assessment of Temer and his actions as Brazil's top leader.

Janot said Temer may have received as much as $12 million in bribes over the past nine months.

Earlier on Monday, in his first comments since arriving back from a trip to Russian Federation and Norway, Temer said that he had no intention to step down.

"Nothing will destroy us".

The prosecutors "created a soap opera plot", Temer said in a brief statement to reporters and allies, his first comments since the charge sheet was presented.

Mr Temer, a former law professor, has vowed to remain in office despite calls for him to step down.

The investigation, launched in March 2014, centres on companies that were offered deals with Petrobras in exchange for bribes, which were funnelled into politicians' pockets and political-party slush funds.

Is there an issue with corruption in Brazil? To make things worse, Norway announced a 50 percent cut in funding for Brazil's Amazon Rainforest Fund due to the increasing rate of deforestation.

Brazil was plunged into a new constitutional crisis on Monday night when Michel Temer became the first serving president to be formally charged with committing a crime while in office.

Temer, who is more conservative - and only has a 7% approval rating, a weekend survey showed - has tried to push through unpopular social reforms to ease the country's budget deficit after more than a decade of leftist regimes.

Temer's popularity had been low even before the latest scandal broke, partly because of unpopular economic overhaul that he wants to push through Congress, including loosening work rules and changing the pension system.

It would be "a gesture of greatness", Cardoso wrote in Folha de S. Paulo newspaper.

Latest News