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BRAZIL: Party Decides To Maintain Political Support To President Temer

(Agencia CMA Latam) - After spearheading a judicial offensive to cancel Dilma Rousseff and Michel Temer victory in the 2014 presidential race, the Brazilian Social Democracy Party decided to keep its current alliance with Temer's government "to favor political and economic stability."

PSDB's acting chairman, Senator Tasso Jereissati, said that the party would remain a Temer administration's ally in the name of economic stability and reforms approval. However, he added during a press conference that "we are not government advocates."

"I think that a lot of os things is still going to happen and if there's anything too serious that would lead us to a different position, then we would call the leaders to talk," he said when asked about the possibility of PSDB changing in its position.

To understand the current conflict in Brazilian politics, one needs to go back to the 2014 election. At that time, Dilma Rousseff, from the Workers Party (PT), was running for a new term as a president. Michel Temer, from the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB), was her ally and vice-presidential candidate.

PSDB, at that time, was the main opposition party with a presidential candidate of its own - Senator Aécio Neves, which is currently under investigation for corruption - but lost the race to Rousseff and Temer.

After the elections, PSDB accused Rousseff and Temer of using illegal tools to campaign for office and asked Brazil's electoral court to cancel their victory. That request, however, was subsided for a bigger effort from opposition parties to impeach Dilma Rousseff - which they successfully managed to do in 2016.

Temer then ascended to the Presidency and promised to adopt economic and fiscal reforms to put a contracting economy on track for recovery, and gathered support to his government from previously hostile parties - PSDB among them.

Temer and his new allies had a harmonic relation for a few months, but things went awry after the electoral court decided to analyze PSDB claims regarding the presidential campaign in 2014. The party did not withdraw its claims that Rousseff and Temer received illegal donations even after taking part in the current administration.

To make things worse, last month Temer went under suspicion of endorsing and receiving bribery payments. As a result, support from current coalition parties became more fragile.

Amid growing pressure from voters, PSDB said it would decide about its support to Temer administration depending on the electoral court decision regarding the 2014 electoral campaign.

The trial was scheduled to the beginning of June. After almost a week of debate, most of the judges ruled last Friday that there was insufficient evidence to prove that there were irregularities during the 2014's Rousseff-Temer campaign for the presidency.

The ruling meant that Temer would remain in office, and strengthened inner voices from PSDB which favored continuous support to the Brazilian president.

Jereissati, however, showed dissatisfaction with the court's decision. "My opinion is that we have to appeal, but we will only speak about this after [the ruling is] published, to search a new joint position," Jereissati said. An appeal, he said, would allow PSDB to remain in government without giving up the belief that there was corruption during the 2014 campaign.

When asked if he believed that PSDB's stance was paradoxical, Jereissati acknowledged that "there is certainly an inconsistency in this, but it is a situation in which History has put us, and I will not fail to say that there has been corruption."

by Agencia CMA Latam

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