By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – Accused by Brazil’s former top prosecutor, Rodrigo Janot, for conspiracy and obstruction of justice, Brazilian President Michel Temer political fate will once again be in the hands of the Lower House on Wednesday, as the Chamber of Deputies votes on whether or not to accept the charges against him.
The Administration however, is confident that Temer will win this latest political battle. In addition to sending ten Cabinet members temporarily back to the Chamber to take their original seats as Congressional representatives, Temer has also accelerated the passing of several legislative amendments to win the necessary votes on Wednesday.
“Often you have a lawmaker who has received a promise to release a certain amendment to health, infrastructure. And many times the budget has not been disbursed,” government leader in the Lower House, Beto Mansur, was quoted as saying by a government news agency.
“I defend it [disbursement of amendments] quickly. And of course it helps, [in the voting],” admitted Mansur.
The release of budget for legislative amendments are usually mandatory, but follow an arduous timetable, with legislative representatives only being able to fulfill the promises to their constituents many months after filing the amendment.
According to local media, President Temer spent the last few days meeting with ‘undecided’ legislators to try to convince them to vote against accepting the charges. This is the second time the Chamber has voted whether or not to authorize further investigation of the President in less than four months.
Calculations made by national daily O Globo this week, show the Temer administration has authorized since the beginning of September R$881 million worth in legislative amendments and has opened up the possibility of relinquishing up to R$2.8 billion worth of environmental fines just to have legislators vote in favor of the President.
For the Chamber of Deputies to authorize Brazil’s Supreme Court to investigate the President, 342 of the 513 lawmakers must vote for the continuation of the complaint in court. If less than 342 vote to accept the charges, the accusation is dropped and the President can only be prosecuted after leaving office.