Brazil's Temer: 'I won't resign' amid corruption allegations

Brazil's Temer: 'I won't resign' amid corruption allegations

Brazil's Temer: 'I won't resign' amid corruption allegations

Brazil's President Michel Temer speaks during a press conference following allegations that he gave his blessing to payment of hush money to a politician convicted of corruption, on May 18, 2017 in Brasilia.

Mr Temer spoke during a national address in his first appearance since the Globo newspaper published a report claiming he was recorded supporting payments to former lower house speaker Eduardo Cunha.

Protests were planned in several cities and opposition politicians took to Twitter and local news channels to call for Temer to be impeached, arguing his government no longer had legitimacy. "There are just too many people against him now".

His statement followed one of the most chaotic sessions for the country's financial markets since the global financial crisis, with stocks on its benchmark Ibovespa falling more than 8% and the real plunging 7.5% against the USA dollar, the most since 1999, despite the intervention of the central bank of Brazil. Analysts predicted the Brazilian real would fall sharply against the US dollar.

The recordings also implicate senator and former presidential candidate Aecio Neves, who reportedly asked Batista for almost $600,000 to pay for his defense in the Car Wash Corruption Probe.

President Michel Temer struck a defiant note Thursday, promising he would be found innocent in a Supreme Court investigation into allegations that he endorsed a scheme to pay hush money to a former influential legislator who is now in prison for corruption.

Globo also reported that Batista had recorded Temer endorsing a bribe to silence Cunha.

The best guess is that the Superior Electoral Tribunal (TSE) determines the annulment of the winning presidential ticket in the 2014 presidential elections, composed of Dilma Rousseff and Temer, in the trial scheduled for three weeks, said political analyst Antonio Augusto de Queiroz.

Cunha led the impeachment fight that removed Dilma Rousseff from the presidency past year and put Temer, then the vice president, into power.

The statement from Temer's office confirmed that the president did meet with Batista in March.

At the same time, a massive corruption scandal involving the state oil company Petrobras was unfolding.

Batista told Temer that he was paying money to make sure that Cunha - thought to have encyclopedic knowledge of Brazil's notoriously dirty political world - would keep quiet while serving his jail sentence for taking bribes. Congress cancelled its sessions, including suspending work on legislation that Temer's administration hopes will pull Latin America's largest economy out of its worst recession in decades.

Lower House Speaker Rodrigo Maia would take over for up to 30 days to organize voting by 513 deputies and 81 senators for a new president to serve out Temer's term, which ends in December 2018.

The share sales, originally reported by news website Brazil Journal on Thursday, represented 2.6 pct of stock held by JBS's controlling shareholders at the beginning of April.

"That's why today the main question is to know whether the parties that form the government's base will leave", said Thomaz Pereira, constitutional law professor at the Getulio Vargas Foundation in Rio. Temer is reportedly heard on the tape telling Batista, "You've got to keep this up, OK?"

Demonstrators shout slogans against Brazilian President Michel Temer in Sao Paulo.

Brazilians watched in shock as federal police carried out search and arrest warrants throughout the capital, Brasilia, in dramatic scenes reminiscent of the impeachment process previous year that brought Temer to power.

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