President Temer refuses to step down amid corruption chaos


"I have no doubt that the Temer government is over, and it's impossible to talk about anything getting through Congress now", Mr. Silveira said.

Allegations of serious corruption against Brazilian President Michel Temer risk ruining the country's recent reputation for making tough decisions to stop corruption, anti-corruption group Transparency International said today. "There are just too many people against him now".

Their aim is to channel the rising anger against the entire capitalist setup in Brazil back behind the discredited Workers Party (PT) and, in particular, the candidacy of Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, the former metalworkers union leader who occupied the presidency from 2003 to 2010. 'The president is absolutely convinced he committed no crime, but that has to be made clear to the eyes of everyone'. Stocks and the currency plunged and rumors circulated that Temer would step down. Brazil's currency, the real, lost 8 percent of its value against the USA dollar.

Brazil's Treasury and central bank said they stood ready to keep markets liquid before acting to smooth volatility in local currency and bond markets.

But Temer did not seem to care about dispelling his image as a distant politician with a distaste for mixing with the public. "I know what I have done", he said, according to a BBC translation.

The police operation was part of a massive investigation into corruption known as Operation Car Wash that has implicated scores of politicians and business executives.

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How Temer plans to continue to govern with the scandal hanging over him is uncertain.

Authorities released photos of Loures receiving 500,000 reais from a JBS employee, though Loures denied any wrongdoing.

The situation of Brazilian President Michel Temer became delicate on Thursday following a newspaper report that he is accused of taking bribes and endorsing bribes to silence a witness in a corruption case.

Cunha, the former speaker of the lower house, the chief mastermind behind the parliamentary coup against former President Dilma Rousseff and an ally of the unelected president, was sentenced to 15 years in jail in March for corruption, money laundering and tax evasion.

Following Globo's report, Thursday began in a panic.

JBS, which grew rapidly under 13 years of leftist Workers Party rule due largely to low-priced loans from Brazil's national development bank, on Thursday said in a statement that seven of its executives, including Batista, had reached plea bargain deals with prosecutors.

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"If Temer doesn't fall, he will lead a walking dead administration".

President Temer, whose government has a 9% approval rating, had already been named in plea bargain testimony for negotiating millions in illegal campaign funding, which he denies.

The news sparked calls for Temer's impeachment, halted debate on controversial neoliberal reforms and raised serious questions about the ability of the government to survive until the 2018 presidential election. The only plausible institutional alternative, he stressed, is to call for direct elections, but it has a problem, it would mean the endorsement of a constitutional amendment that should also be preceded by a political reform to avoid the problems of the current regulations, which reward economic power.

The Sao Paulo stock exchange saw 3.1 million transactions, breaking a previous record set in October 2014, the day former President Dilma Rousseff won a narrow runoff election, according to exchange operator B3 Bolsa Balcão Brasil SA. The alleged evidence is now in the hands of Brazil's Supreme Court.

Since he became president a year ago following the controversial impeachment of Rousseff - who was removed from office accused of manipulating federal budgets, his government has been plagued by scandal and several ministers have been forced to resign.

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