Third Round of Corruption Allegations Against Brazilian President
Brazil’s federal police filed a report Wednesday requesting corruption charges to be raised against President Michel Temer, which could lead to his suspension from office, the Associated Press reports.
Police said they obtained evidence that Temer took bribes from construction giant Odebrecht, which is at the heart of a regional corruption scandal.
According to police documents seen by Reuters, Temer’s Brazilian Democratic Party allegedly received US$2.41 million in 2014, while Temer was vice president.
Temer has twice before evaded corruption charges, once in Aug. 2017 and then again in October of the same year. The accusations were part of the larger so-called “Car Wash” investigation, a series of bribes received by politicians from companies seeking contracts with state-run enterprises.
Evidence obtained by the federal police in 2017 suggested Temer received bribes totaling about US$11.5 million from JBS South America, the country’s largest meat processing company.
As with the two previous corruption allegations, Temer has denied any wrongdoing.
In Brazil, votes from two thirds of the lower house of Congress are required for a president to stand trial before the Supreme Court. Both previous votes failed, but the BBC reported that fifty-nine percent of the lawmakers who sided with Temer in the October vote were themselves under investigation.
Temer has one of the lowest public approval ratings on record, which fell this quarter to a dismal 4%, according to MercoPress. He announced he will not seek a new term in the upcoming national election in October.
Brazilian prosecutors on Tuesday requested that a judge bring charges against conservative presidential candidate Geraldo Alckmin, who also allegedly took bribes from Odebrecht. Charges will also likely be sought for another likely presidential candidate, Fernando Haddad of the Workers’ Party.