Brazil's president says corruption charge is 'fiction'

Temer is suspected to have participated “with vigour” in cases of corruption

He says the charges against Temer make it hard for lawmakers to vote on financial reforms and cuts to public spending. Brazil's benchmark Bovespa index was down 0.8 percent and the local currency slipped 0.6 percent in late afternoon trading.

Allies of Temer have been torn between whether to continue supporting the beleaguered leader or bail on him because of fears that association could be toxic during elections next year.

According to the UOL news portal, Temer met yesterday with seven of his ministers and a group of parliamentarians to design the strategy to be followed against Janot's complaints (s), which, before being submitted to the STF, initially require the approval of the Commission of Constitution and Justice of the Chamber of Deputies.

Brazil's top prosecutor charged President Michel Temer with bribery on Monday, plunging Latin America's biggest country into what could be prolonged new political turmoil.

The Attorney-General's Office accuses Temer of passive corruption, asks that he loses office and has to pay 10 million BRL as a fine.

Temer is the first Brazilian president to face criminal charges while in office.

Janot said Temer may have received as much as $12 million in bribes over the past nine months.

With the prospect of more charges from Janot in coming weeks, the Supreme Court weighing in on proceedings and Congress having to vote on whether to open a potentially lengthy trial, politics stands to overshadow the outlook for the government's market-friendly reform agenda.

If Temer is absolved by the court, he would be allowed to return to office. The lower house would be required to vote on whether Temer can be tried. On Monday, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, a former president and elder statesman of the party, said in a newspaper column that Mr. Temer should make a "grand gesture" and cut short his mandate. Companies have allegedly been paying billions of dollars in bribes to politicians and to executives of state-run companies to gain contracts.

Just a few hours before the Prosecutor's Office decision was confirmed, Temer said,"Nothing will destroy us, neither me nor my ministers".

But despite the tough talk, Temer is facing risks to his mandate on several fronts, from tanking popularity to numerous calls, some from heavyweight politicians, for him to step down.

Investigators have uncovered corruption at all levels of Brazil's political class and business elites in recent years.

As a sitting president, only the Supreme Federal Tribunal, the country's highest court, can try or jail Temer. Even thought the issue of deforestation began before Temer's tenure, experts argue that his policies are adding fuel to the fire.

Rodrigo Rocha Loures, a close aide to the president, was filmed taking delivery of a suitcase that the authorities say contained the payment.

None of this bodes well for Mr. Temer's legislative agenda, an ambitious package of austerity measures that he says is needed to revive Brazil's economy.

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