Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Everybody Hates Michel

As shown in the above video, Brazilians reacting to the lower chamber vote in April to continue the impeachment process against President Dilma Rousseff were either jubilant or heartbroken. Yet despite this sharp division, polls last month showed that those for and against the process are united in at least one aspect: disgust against Vice President Michel Temer.

According to a mid-April poll of street protesters in Sao Paulo both for and against Rousseff’s impeachment, 79% of her supporters would like to see Temer out of office. 88% of these demonstrators gathered in the downtown Vale do Anhangabaú area also feel either neutral or pessimistic towards a Temer regime. Among Rousseff detractors on the Avenida Paulista, meanwhile, only 32% favorably viewed an administration led by the potential successor to Rousseff. Compared to anti-impeachment activists, a slimmer majority (54%) would favor the ouster of the former ally to Rousseff.

Another survey published last week, meanwhile, noted that 62% of Brazilians want Rousseff and Temer to resign from their respective posts though that option is unconstitutional. One out of four respondents to the Ibope poll favored Rousseff to stay in power on the remote possibility that she can form a coalition with the opposition eager to see her gone. Even then it’s a bit over triple the support compared to the 8% who feel that a Temer presidency would resolve the country’s deep political mess. 

The negativity towards a Temer regime even extends itself to a hypothetical race for the presidency in 2018.  Respondents to a Datafolha poll conducted from April 7-8 were “deeply divided” on backing Rousseff’s predecessor, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, though he received a plurality of support. Temer was only able to muster a microscopic 1-2% in favor of him winning in two years time.

With solid odds that Temer will take over for 180 days while Rousseff faces an impeachment trial in the Senate, his PDMB political party will allegedly unveil a set of proposals under his rule that will emphasize privatization, promote exports, and reexamine social programs. Nevertheless, his support among the opposition is tenuous at best; for instance, the Socialists (PSB) backed Rousseff’s main rival in the last presidential election but have presented Temer with a list of ten preconditions in exchange for allying with him.

For all the pessimism and dislike against Temer, perhaps he can take comfort in knowing that he may emerge untainted from a corruption scandal that has rocked the country:
Brazil’s vice president, Michel Temer, who is preparing to take control of the country’s embattled government as early as next week, will not face an investigation over testimony implicating him in the colossal graft scandal engulfing Petrobras, the national oil company, federal investigators said Tuesday.

Rodrigo Janot, the prosecutor general, determined that the accusations against Mr. Temer were not substantial enough at this point to merit an inquiry, according to a spokeswoman for Mr. Janot’s office in the capital, Brasília. Mr. Temer, 75, has been maneuvering to replace President Dilma Rousseff if the Senate votes next week to suspend her and put her on trial.

The decision bolsters Mr. Temer’s standing at a critical juncture when powerful figures across Brazil’s political class are battling accusations of corruption and abuse of power, including various top allies that Mr. Temer is considering for cabinet posts as well as officials in Ms. Rousseff’s leftist Workers’ Party.
YouTube Source – AFP

Online Sources (English) – teleSUR English, The New York Times, Reuters, Buenos Aires Herald

Online Sources (Portuguese) – Agencia Brasil, Valor, Jornal do Brasil

No comments: