Brazil's Lower House votes on charges against Temer

Brazilian president charged for second time in less than three months

Brasil de Fato | São Paulo (SP) |
Brazilian President Michel Temer
Brazilian President Michel Temer - Agência Brasil

Brazil's lower house of parliament on Wednesday will vote on the second round of corruption charges against President Michel Temer, who only needs to secure 172 in the 513-seat chamber of deputies to avoid a trial.

Leading up to the vote, political opposition parties announced that they will attempt to stall the voting process in efforts capture the two-thirds majority support needed in order to take President Temer to trial on charges of obstruction of justice. 

“Obviously, it is the responsibility of the government to ensure sufficient quoram. However, if the government cannot guarantee adequate quoram, then we will argue that the vote cannot take place,” said deputy minority leader José Guimarães with the Workers Party (PT).

Under Brazilian law, 342 of the 513-seat chamber deputies must be present in order for a vote to take place. 

“Dissatisfaction is growing and the government is scared because each day it may loose a vote,” Guimarães added. 

However, leading up to Wednesday’s decisive vote, it was reported by local media outlets that the Brazilian government threatened to retaliate against congressional deputies who vote in favor of putting President Michel Temer on trial. 

Additionally, critics have repeatedly accused the embattled Brazilian President of actively attempting to garner necessary political support from members of Brazil’s lower house in order to avoid going to trail. 

In recent weeks, the Temer administration has supported several legislative proposals and presidential decrees, which critics argue is an attempt to satisfy powerful lobbying groups along with interested lawmakers. 

Deputy Jandira Feghali of the Communist Party of Brazil (PcdoB) criticized the recent political maneuvers carried out by Temer stating that, “the charges are serious and the evidence is robust. We can’t loose this vote on the basis of business transactions. Society shouldn’t expect this from us.” 

In the hours leading up to the vote, members from various social movements and unions have met with their elected deputy officials in order to discuss future political actions against the Temer administration. 

There will be planned mobilizations taking place in major cities including São Paulo and Rio, which will stage political protests demanding that President Temer be put on trial. 

Former Attorney General Rodrigo Janot issued the charges in September, accusing Mr. Temer along with other top-politicians of embezzling at least R$ 188 million since 2006. 

Edited by: Camila Salmazio | Version in English: Nate Singham