Brazil congressional panel votes against putting Temer on trial


A Brazilian congressional committee has handed a largely symbolic victory to President Michel Temer by rejecting a recommendation to have him tried on graft charges.
A Chamber of Deputies committee voted Thursday against the proposal made earlier this week by other lawmakers to have Temer tried at the Supreme Court.

The Thursday vote by the committee prompted other lawmakers to shout “Temer out!” and “Purchased vote!” while some others responded by saying “Long live Temer!”
Temer issued a statement calling the vote “a win for democracy and the law.”
Temer was charged last month with the acceptance of bribes from the executive of the world’s largest meatpacking firm, JBS SA, in exchange for helping the company obtain favorable government decisions. The Brazilian president has denied the accusation.
The Thursday vote was non-binding, and the final decision to try and suspend Temer lies with the parliament, which is expected to vote on the matter on August 2.
In order for him to be tried, two-thirds of the 513 deputies in the lower house need to approve the charges against Temer. If approved, Lower House Speaker Rodrigo Maia would take over presidential duties while Brazil’s Supreme Court tries the president.
Temer would be suspended for at least 180 days during the possible trial.
Temer’s predecessor and former boss, Dilma Rousseff, underwent exactly that fate when she was impeached and unseated due to financial wrongdoing, which she denied.
The recent decision in Temer’s favor was made only a day after another former president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (pictured below), was convicted of corruption and sentenced to almost 10 years in prison.
Lula da Silva remains free while an appeal is heard.
“By August next year, this case will be decided,” said Judge Carlos Eduardo Thompson, the chairman of the court that will hear the appeal.
Lula on Thursday accused the court of having acted based on political motivations and vowed to appeal his conviction and run for president next year.
If his conviction is upheld, Lula will be barred from seeking office. He is considered the front-runner for the 2018 presidential race.


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