Following up on today’s earlier post about the impending collapse of the case against former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, yet another member of the regime imposed by the neoliberals who impeached his successor has been forced to call it quits.
A Brazilian minister resigned on Friday amid allegations that he enlisted President Michel Temer’s help to pressure a fellow Cabinet member to approve a luxury apartment development project in a preservation zone. The announcement feeds a growing scandal over alleged misuse of power that threatens Temer’s presidency only six months after he replaced a predecessor ousted from office by Congress — and at a time corruption investigations have tarred many senior politicians.
At least one opposition party says it will submit a motion to impeach the new president.
Temer, who is deeply unpopular with many Brazilians, has been struggling to push through an ambitious austerity agenda he says will pull Latin America’s largest economy out of its worst recession in decades. Since May, his administration has lurched from one scandal to the next, but until now, none had directly implicated the president.
Temer’s administration “just turned six months and it already looks old,” Fabio Zanini, political editor of the daily newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo, wrote Friday. “The strategy to win popular legitimacy with an economic recovery and political stability is quickly sinking for a president who was not supported by the popular vote.”
The latest crisis started when former Culture Minister Marcelo Calero told federal police that Temer’s legislative affairs minister, Geddel Vieira Lima, pressured him to allow construction of a luxury building in a historic preservation area in the city of Salvador, Bahía, 1,000 miles northwest of Rio de Janeiro. Lima had bought a unit in the planned development.