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Financial News: BRAZIL: House Shields Temer And His Ministers From

BRAZIL: House Shields Temer And His Ministers From Prosecution

10/26/2017 - 15:14:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Brazil's House of Representatives once again shielded President Michel Temer and two of his ministers from being prosecuted on corruption allegations in a 251-233 vote. Temer and ministers Eliseu Padilha and Moreira Franco are suspected of obstruction of justice and criminal association. As a consequence, they only could be prosecuted for the alleged crimes in 2019, after their terms are over.

The vote on the second criminal complaint against Temer in only a few months was held Wednesday night. The quorum required for the session to take place was delayed by opposition maneuvers aimed weakening Temer's odds.

During the discussions, Temer's allied contested the charges, while the opposition pointed out to Temer's close relationship with Joesley Batista, one of the owners of the meatpacker JBS, who is at the center of a widespread corruption scandal in Brazil.

Aguinaldo Ribeiro, the government's speaker, claimed that there was no basis to prosecute Temer and his ministers.

"If we authorize this denunciation we will be saying that all political coalitions are criminal," he said.

"The Brazilian society has the right to see the facts clarified," said Sonia Zveiter, who was rapporteur for the first complaint against Temer. According to her, there would be strong indications in the complaint to allow the prosecution to move ahead with the inquiry.

Despite winning the vote, Temer amassed 12 fewer votes than in the vote in which he was shielded by his allies for the first time. The score was closely watched by market players. According to analysts, the vote suggests that Temer will face more hurdles to advance with the pension reform in the Congress.

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