Proceedings against Temer and Rousseff over election funding

Dilma Rousseff - Michel Temer

Brazil's Superior Electoral Court is deliberating on a case which could topple the country's President, Michel Temer.

The 2014 presidential election campaign of Dilma Rousseff and Michel Temer has been the focus of a long investigation for illegal campaign donations pertaining to the Petrobras’ scandal. This week, Brazil’s Superior Electoral Court resumed the investigation after the original trial, which was scheduled for April, was delayed.

Dilma Rousseff was impeached on charges of misconduct in relation to the federal budget and replaced by Michel Temer in 2016. The change was supposed to be the end of the political turmoil, but new allegations have been made against Temer. The Supreme Court, as consequence, opened an investigation for the alleged crimes of passive corruption, obstruction of justice, and illicit association.

In both instances, the accused have called for the annulment of the trial due to lack of evidence, but the Supreme Court rejected said arguments. Temer’s lawyers have asked that the campaign accounts be investigated and judged separately in the hopes to prove that each had their own collections of campaign funds and donations.

Hearings, presided by the seven judges overseeing the case, are expected to last three days, and their scope is focused on illegal funding for the campaing done by Petrobras.

If Temer is removed from office, Congress would have to elect his successor within 30 days, with speaker Rodrigo Maia taking over in the interim.

LatinAmerican Post | Ricardo Avella

Copy edited by Susana Cicchetto