Published: Thu, May 25, 2017
Money | By Armando Alvarado

Brazil's Temer loses another aide as pressure mounts

The PSDB leader, who asked for anonymity because his party has not yet chose to break with Temer, said Cardoso, who led Brazil from 1995 to 2003, could be a "sensational" option. Images on television showed soldiers outside the presidential palace. But there's a hitch: Officials facing criminal charges are ineligible.

They have tried to counter this lack of legitimacy by attacking some of Brazil's thorniest issues, including a ballooning budget deficit of 9.2 per cent of gross domestic product and an unaffordable pension system, analysts say.

The latest protests against the Temer administration, installed previous year with the removal of former President Dilma Rousseff in an impeachment process widely condemned as a parliamentary coup, come on the heels of still another scandal to hit the government after a wiretap recording revealed Temer had endorsed bribes to keep quiet a powerful witness in corruption investigations.

Temer has denied wrongdoing said he will not resign.

Rousseff and her supporters labeled that a "coup" orchestrated by Temer and his allies in an effort to halt a sweeping, three-year corruption probe that has placed scores of sitting politicians under investigation.

Divisions now run too deep to consider voting measures that had already been challenging before the latest crisis broke, said lower house legislator Julio Delgado.

Several lawmakers have submitted requests for Temer's impeachment to the speaker and Maia has angered them by saying he would take his time to review the requests. Another aide turned over to the police a bag full of cash, and shouts of "Down with Temer" led a Senate commission to suspend work on a package of the president's labour reforms.

While it is still unclear how journalist Jardim received the information Batista recounted to prosecutors, this is what was further revealed: Batista had paid the equivalent of US$1.5 million to Cunha after his arrest and admitted owing another US$6 million to the former president of the House of Representatives as part of a deal to approve a law guaranteeing tax breaks for the chicken industry.

United Nations military observers vehicle fired at by Indian troops near LoC
The Indian army spokesman did not specify when the Pakistani posts were targeted but said it was " recent, very recent ". Army along the Line of Control started repairing the damaged LoC fence as a pre-emptive measure.

Conservative forces are gunning for indirect elections through Congress to replace the president in the event he steps down or is removed from office through an impeachment process or pending trial on illegal election financing.

When I got home I would find out, initially on social media, that Brazilian President Michel Temer had been caught on tape giving the green light to payments meant to buy the silence of disgraced former representative Eduardo Cunha and money-moving middleman Lúcio Funaro, both of whom are in jail.

"A more negative scenario would see prolonged political uncertainty as the country would face another impeachment process with potentially rising social tensions and a return to an economic scenario akin to what Brazil faced in the second half of 2015", said Tony Volpon, economist with UBS in a report. Riot police crouching behind black shields lobbed tear gas and stun grenades into the crowd, triggering running battles.

"That leader would be weak given how discredited this Congress is", said Senator Ronaldo Caiado, a member of Temer's alliance who has called for his resignation.

While the demonstration was initially peaceful, police and protesters began clashing as the protest neared Congress. Police in riot gear, some on foot holding shields and others on horseback, lined up near the chamber.

"The state today is in a sea of debt because of corruption", said Julio Cesar Azevedo, a leader of a union that represents prison guards.

In Rio de Janeiro, protests were smaller than expected.

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