A Brazilian opposition party has filed a petition for the impeachment of President Michel Temer, underlining the growing difficulties facing the center-right leader as he tries to introduce austerity reforms. The impeachment demand filed yesterday by the PSOL, a small leftist party, was unlikely to be accepted, so had mostly symbolic significance. The PSOL argues that Temer committed crimes by allegedly interfering in a business dispute to aid a friend in his cabinet.
Temer denies any wrongdoing in the affair. Another impeachment request is expected from the leftist Workers’ Party soon. Temer’s allies control both the lower house and Senate in Congress, meaning that even if an impeachment petition were ever put to the vote it would not pass.
However, the development is an embarrassment to Temer who came to power this year after the bitterly fought impeachment of president Dilma Rousseff, from the Workers’ Party, for breaking government accounting rules.
The spat also comes as Temer is pushing a 20-year spending freeze as the first plank in reforms he says will help Brazil recover from its worst recession in decades. The Senate is slated to vote on the freeze today.