STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

Brazil judge suspends Senate leader in blow to Temer

It also deepens the perception that the country is inextricably mired in political graft.

Published: 06th December 2016 04:49 AM  |   Last Updated: 06th December 2016 04:49 AM   |  A+A-

Brazil Michel Temer AFP

President Michel Temer takes office before the plenary of the Brazilian Senate in Brasilia, on August 31, 2016. | AFP

By AFP

BRASILIA: A supreme court judge in Brazil on Monday suspended the Senate's powerful speaker, a key ally to President Michel Temer, before he goes on trial for alleged corruption.

The interim decision to strip Renan Calheiros, 61, of his duties worsens the outlook for Temer as he struggles to lift Latin America's biggest economy out of crisis.

It also deepens the perception that the country is inextricably mired in political graft.

The suspension ordered by judge Marco Aurelio Mello has "immediate effect," but needs to be confirmed by a majority of judges on the supreme court bench, a court official said.

An opposition group, Rede, had called for the suspension, arguing that an official in line for presidential succession -- as the Senate speaker is -- cannot hold his or her position while facing trial.

The supreme court last week ordered Calheiros to face trial for alleged embezzlement. He has denied accusations he used public funds to make maintenance payments to a woman with whom he had a child.

In a separate case, Calheiros is also among numerous top politicians including an ex-president and lawmakers accused of helping steal billions from state oil firm Petrobras.

Protesters on Sunday held demonstrations demanding Calheiros' ouster, with a crowd in Brasilia chanting "Lock Renan up!" as they performed a mock funeral with a coffin inscribed "corruption."

Calheiros had tried unsuccessfully last week to push through an urgent reform that would challenge judges' powers to investigate corruption.

Temer went from vice-president to president this year when he and Calheiros drove proceedings that saw Brazil's previous president, Dilma Rousseff, impeached for fiddling the government's books. 

Rousseff's own predecessor, Luis Inacio Lula da Silva, is facing three corruption-related court cases related to the Petrobras affair.

Although Temer has not been formally investigated himself over the Petrobras scandal, it has forced the resignation of several of his ministers.

Stay up to date on all the latest World news with The New Indian Express App. Download now

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp