Brazilian vice president criticised over leaked audio message

Brasilia, April 12 (IANS) Brazilian Vice President Michel Temer, who was caught in a leaked audio talking as if President Dilma Rousseff had already been impeached, was criticised by government officials.

Temer on Monday rehearsed a speech to the nation, making it appear as if he believed the impeachment of Rousseff a foregone conclusion, Xinhua reported on Tuesday.

Temer said the audio message was an answer to inquiries of political allies about what he would do if he takes over, adding that he sent the message to the wrong person, and it reached the press.

Jaques Wagner, chief of staff of Rousseff’s presidential office, said Temer was a dissimulated sponsor of the impeachment against Rousseff.

The audio message showed that Temer forgot his institutional role, Wagner said.

“The records revealed today (Monday) show that the vice president, without any problems, forgets his institutional role, despises the ritual of his position and openly sponsors a dissimulated coup,” Wagner said.

“But no coup will produce national union, as it is an offence to democracy,” Wagner said.

Government Secretary Ricardo Berzoini said the leak evidenced the “coup-like” character of Temer, and the message left him “flabbergasted”.

“This audio shows the coup-like character of the vice president. He transformed the process in an indirect election, to get votes in favour of the impeachment,” Berzoini said.

Temer of the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB), a partner of the ruling coalition, said in the rehearsal: “Now that the chamber of deputies has decided by a significant vote to authorise the start of the impeachment process against the president, the great mission, as of this moment, is the pacification of the country, the reunification of the country.”

By the time of the rehearsal, a congressional impeachment committee had yet to decide whether to proceed with the impeachment.

The committee voted later on Monday to go ahead. A full-chamber vote would take place on Sunday. Two-thirds of the chamber would have to vote in favour for the motion to move on to the senate for a final decision.

Temer has been regarded as the mastermind behind the PMDB’s announcement last month to leave the ruling coalition, a key move toward the impeachment of Rousseff.

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