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By Jay Forte, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – In another series of political maneuvers, the vice president of Brazil, Michel Temer, who is also the president of the largest political party PMDB, has resigned as the leader of the PMDB. Analysts see this as a way to shield the party from the negative backlash of impeachment proceedings that are underway regarding the 2014 presidential race.

Brazil, Temer, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil News, President, Dilma, Rousseff, impeachment
Brazil’s VP Michel Temer, formerly the head of the PMDB party will take over if President Rousseff is impeached, photo by Tania Rego/AgBr.

On Monday (April 4th) Temer was formally accused of illegal financial management during the 2014 presidential campaign, along with the President Dilma Rousseff. To date, nine requests for impeachment have been presented to the House, seven against President Rousseff and two against Vice President Temer, filed by the scandal embroiled Chamber President, Eduardo Cunha (PMDB).

At the same time, the PMDB has broken from the alliance with the Rousseff’s ruling Workers’ Party (PT) party last week. The PMDB has currently 68 representatives in Congress’ Lower House and eighteen senators, in addition to seven state governors.

Neil Shearing, of Capital Economics shares, “Mr. Temer’s decision to step down as leader of the PMBD, which last week broke from the coalition supporting President Rousseff, initially seemed a surprise. After all, as VP he would assume the presidency should Ms. Rousseff herself be removed from office – and the PMDB’s decision to exit the coalition last week makes that increasingly likely.”

Yet added, “The announcement shortly after that Mr. Temer himself would now be subject to impeachment proceedings helps to clear things up. As things stand, it seems that Mr. Temer has fallen on his sword to try to insulate his party from the fallout.”

The same Eduardo Cunha filing impeachment requests, said yesterday (April 5th) that the request for Temer’s resignation from the president of the PMDB will allow the party to react politically after he left the government to the criticism that has been the target of by the PT especially.

Chamber President, Eduardo Cunha, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Brazil News
Chamber President, Eduardo Cunha tried to explain the resignation of Michel Temer as head of the PMDB, photo by Valter Campanato/Agência Brasil.

With the resignation of Temer, the leadership of the political party will go to the first vice president of the PMDB, Senator Romero Jucá. In a speech on the Senate floor, Jucá said the move was necessary. “Our president, the vice president Michel Temer in recent days was the victim of a series of attacks.”

Continuing, “A series of manipulations, sophistry, frames and aggression, and was in a difficult situation because, while it is vice President of the Republic, with all the institutional power it has, is also president of the PMDB, and, in theory, would have to come down to the debate, would have exposed positions, and more than that, would have to fight.”

On the other side of the face-off, this past Monday, former President Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva suggested that Vice President Michel Temer should “go campaigning for votes on the streets” if he wants to become Brazil’s president, in a rebuke of Temer’s stance on the impeachment case against President Dilma Rousseff.

“I have nothing against Michel Temer. Only I would tell him, ‘If you want to be the president, run for an election, man. Go campaigning for votes on the streets,” Lula said to a crowd of supporters. Lula is himself under investigation in the Lava Jato (Carwash) mega-corruption scandal.

Analyst Neil Shearing admits, “What happens next is uncertain. The charges against Mr Temer are similar to those facing President Rousseff – namely that he was complicit in a move by the Rousseff administration to doctor the fiscal accounts, which would violate Brazil’s constitution.”

Speaking about the economic outlook and financial markets, he adds, “Even so, today’s developments further muddy the political outlook in Brazil. It still seems more likely than not, in our view, that President Rousseff will not see out her full term in office. The question – as we’ve emphasized all along – is what comes next.”

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