Brazilian parliament returns from recess, to decide President’s fate

Brasilia, Aug 1 (IANS) The Brazilian parliament returned from a recess this week and will decide on a vote over a corruption case against President Michel Temer.

On Tuesday, the Chamber of Deputies will hear a complete report on the case, reports Xinhua news agency.

Since the parliament’s Commission on Constitution, Justice and Citizenship had voted earlier to reject the charges thanks to the last-minute switching of some members of the ruling party, the report will suggest the parliament also reject the charges.

On Wednesday, deputies will discuss the charges pressed by Prosecutor-General, Rodrigo Janot, at a plenary session, before moving onto a vote.

While no exact date for the vote is set, parliament speaker Rodrigo Maia has reaffirmed his commitment to holding it as soon as possible.

A two-thirds majority, or 342 out of 513 deputies, is needed to approve the charges and start a trial against Temer.

Temer, who became president after the impeachment of his predecessor Dilma Rousseff, is the first head of state in Brazil’s history to receive criminal charges while in office.

The case against Temer began in May when Joesley Batista, owner of the meatpacking group JBS, confessed to investigators that he had paid bribes to the president.

If Temer steps down for up to 180 days to allow for a trial, Maia would take over the presidency in an interim capacity.

According to an Ibope poll released on Monday, a large majority of Brazilian people are in favour of Temer standing trial.

Some 81 per cent of interviewees said they wanted Temer to be tried for corruption, while just 14 per cent said he should not.

–IANS

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