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Brazil's Temer: 'I won't resign' amid corruption allegations


Reports about Temer nearly pushed Trump off the front pages.

Earlier, a PSDB leader, Ricardo Tripoli, told AFP that "if the evidence is confirmed, then we will ask our (ministers) to leave the government".

President Temer is already losing support in Congress.

Temer told reporters he will not resign shortly after state-run news agency Agencia Brasil reported the news of the Supreme Court inquiry. Nonetheless, Cunha is believed to have been threatening to strike a plea bargain of his own with prosecutors - one that would ostensibly be politically damaging to Temer, formerly a close ally of the jailed lawmaker. He says he won't resign, and he wants a full and fair investigation.

The National Treasury also swept to action, calling off an auction of fixed-rate and floating-rate bonds scheduled for Thursday and offering to buy or sell local notes in three extraordinary auctions in coming days.

Despite these increasingly desperate conditions for the masses of Brazilian workers, the corporate and financial media and big business politicians have hailed a supposed turnaround in the country's economy, based in large measure on the enthusiastic response of the stock markets and worldwide finance capital to the apparent progress made by Temer in pushing through his attacks on pensions and labor laws.

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How Temer plans to continue to govern with the scandal hanging over him is uncertain.

But Mr Temer hit back in his address, saying: "I never authorised any payments for someone to be silent".

May 19 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand dollar declined against the U.S. dollar and surged against the Brazilian real as the behaviour of the American and Brazilian presidents overshadowed concerns about economic fundamentals.

"If Temer doesn't fall, he will lead a walking dead administration".

"Michel Temer is like that boyfriend who doesn't know it's over", one Twitter user said. The obstruction of justice allegations have sparked street protests and calls for his impeachment by Brazilian lawmakers.

Federal police, meanwhile, intensified their investigations in the corruption probe, dubbed 'Operation Car Wash, ' and closed in on Temer allies.

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The regulator is also examining the sale of shares in the company by its controlling shareholders, the report said.

An alternative possible candidate, Aecio Neves, runner-up in the 2014 presidential race, was suspended from the Senate on Thursday after Batista's secret recording appeared to catch him asking for 2 million reais ($800,000) for legal fees.

The ongoing scandal deepened at dawn on Thursday as police searched the Rio de Janeiro home and Brasilia office of Senator Aecio Neves, who almost won the presidency in 2014 and planned to run again next year. Neves, who almost won the presidency in 2014 and planned to run again next year, has denied wrongdoing.

Globo did not say how it got the information about the recording, which it said was offered in a plea bargain between Batista and his brother Wesley with prosecutors.

Despite Temer's refusal to resign, Sergio Praça, a political scientist at Brazil's Getulio Vargas Foundation university, said the leader would have "zero chance of surviving this, once the audio tapes were released". These corruption allegations are only the latest to hit people at the very top of Brazilian politics, if we look at the tenures of the previous two presidents, Luiz Inacio da Silva and Dilma Rousseff.

Even before the latest revelations, Temer's approval rating stood at barely 9 percent, with large sections of the population seeing his presidency as wholly illegitimate. Whenever he speaks on television, honking of horns and pot banging can be heard in major cities like Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo.

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