Brazilian president, facing bribery allegations claims he won’t quit
Toronto Telegraph - Saturday 20th May, 2017
Temer is facing allegations that he authorized paying bribes to silence a witness
The witness was said to be related to a huge corruption scandal
The allegations led the Brazilian stock market to have its worst day in over a decade
RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil - Brazilian president, who is facing allegations that he authorised paying bribes to silence a witness in a huge corruption scandal has declared that he won’t quit.
In a bid to save his presidency, Michel Temer made comments in a televised address and said, "I will not resign. I know what I have done.”
Temer, who assumed presidency a year ago, after the impeachment of former Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, is now himself facing calls for his impeachment from opposition parties that are also demanding snap elections.
Over the last week, various cities also witnessed protests calling "Fora Temer" (Temer out).
The scandal came to light after Brazilian authorities released an audio recording where Temer appears to be discussing bribes.
The audio, obtained by O Globo newspaper, revealed a conversation between the president and Joesley Batista, the chairman of meat company JBS.
It had reportedly been recorded by Batista using a hidden device.
While most of the conversation is inaudible, the a key line heard in it reveals Temer appears to discuss making payments to silence politician Eduardo Cunha, who is currently in jail.
Batista reportedly appears to imply that he was paying Cunha to remain silent and the president was recorded saying, "You need to keep that up, okay?"
The audio doesn’t mention what Cunha was being asked to keep quiet about.
Soon after the audio was released, the Supreme Court approved an investigation into the allegations, even though Temer has said he would prove his innocence.
Commenting on the audio, Temer has said the footage is authentic, taken from a meeting in March, but he has strongly denied wrongdoing.
In his address, he said, "I never authorised any payments for someone to be silent. I did not buy anyone's silence. I fear no accusations."
The increasing anger against the scandal and the subsequent launch of the investigation caused the Brazilian stock market to have its worst day in over a decade.
Investors are reportedly concerned that if Temer is forced out, his efforts to pull the economy out of recession would be derailed.
The Sao Paulo share index closed down 9 percent and the Brazilian currency suffered its worst day in 14 years.
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