Scandals plague Brazil’s interim government ahead of impeachment trial

File photo of Brazil's Interim President Michel Temer during an August 2012 visit to the UK. (Photo credit: Foreign & Commonwealth Office via Flickr / Creative Commons)

Three weeks after Brazil’s president Dilma Rousseff was suspended and now awaits trial at the Senate for allegedly breaking budget laws, the interim government led by Michel Temer is experiencing teething troubles. The new government remains largely unpopular and continuing scandals are further denting its credibility, possibly giving Rousseff a much needed boost. FSRN’s Sam Cowie reports from São Paulo.

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Since taking over the Brazilian presidency in mid-May, Michel Temer’s interim government has been off to an embarrassing start.

Two of his chosen ministers have had to step down after audio leaks seemingly showed the men conspiring to stifle the ongoing corruption investigation at Brazil’s state oil giant Petrobras.

Known as Operation Car Wash, the investigation involves a kickback scheme in which politicians allegedly colluded with construction firms to inflate contracts. It has so far ensnared many of Brazil’s top politicians and business magnates.

This week, Brazil’s chief prosecutor sought the arrest of senior members of Temer’s party for allegedly obstructing the probe.

Those named by the prosecutor include Senate head Renan Calheiros, suspended Planning Minister Romero Juca, ex-president Jose Sarney and suspended House Speaker Eduardo Cunha, who led the impeachment charge against Dilma Rousseff.

Polls released Wednesday showed that more than half of Brazilian’s view Temer’s government unfavorably and want new elections later this year.

Some see the scandals in Temer’s government as a potential lifeline for Rousseff’s political survival ahead of her trial before the Senate.

The Senate’s impeachment commission has indicated Rousseff’s trial will likely conclude in mid August – as the country hosts the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

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