Brazil's electoral court keeps Temer in office

Brazilian President Michel Temer attends the ceremony of 152th anniversary of the Riachuelo Naval Battle at the Marine Corps Headquarters in Brasilia Brazil

Brazilian President Michel Temer attends the ceremony of 152th anniversary of the Riachuelo Naval Battle at the Marine Corps Headquarters in Brasilia Brazil

"Temer has the votes to stay in office", said Welber Barral, a Brasilia insider and political consultant who is following the case closely, as is much of the country and its investors.

The TSE also voted against allowing 77 Odebrecht executives from giving plea-bargain testimony in the election case.

Even if Temer survives the electoral court case and is charged by prosecutors for corruption, he is unlikely to fall. Temer is being investigated separately by federal prosecutors for corruption, obstruction of justice and racketeering as part of a sprawling anti-graft probe.

That spared recession-ravaged Brazil being plunged into its second leadership crisis in 14 months, following the impeachment of leftist president Dilma Rousseff a year ago and her replacement by her then-vice president Temer.

Prosecutor General Rodrigo Janot alleges that Temer agreed to payments of hush money to Eduardo Cunha, former lower house of Congress speaker, who is in prison for corruption.

Temer became president in August after Rouseff was impeached for illegally moving funds between government budgets.

Rousseff was impeached in 2016, putting Temer in charge, but if their electoral victory had been ruled invalid and nullified, his current status as president would have been thrown into question. That would clearly be a temporary win for Temer, but analysts say it would still leave him weakened and by no means bring an end to the political crisis roiling Brazil. The executives provided shocking details of tens of millions of dollars in bribes and illegal campaign contributions, including to the Rousseff-Temer ticket. Brazil's top electoral court is preparing to vote on a decision that could force President Michel Temer from office. The Superior Electoral Tribunal is now reviewing allegations that their 2014 campaign received illegal funding, and could annul their victory.

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Dozens of Brazilian congressmen and large swaths of Temer's own cabinet have been identified in the ongoing Operation Car Wash investigations that have rocked nearly every facet of Brazilian politics over the past three years. There are near weekly protests calling for Temer's ouster, frequent shouting matches in Congress, and a simmering debate in the media over whether Temer will manage to finish out his term. As the tension in the chamber rose, the court's president called a brief break.

The approval process in Congress could be lengthy and Mr Temer is working daily to maintain enough support among legislators to defeat any eventual charges.

Temer took office past year, promising a "new era" for Brazil following Rousseff's impeachment over accusations of taking illegal state loans to patch budget holes in 2014.

The main parties in Temer's coalition have stuck with him so far, but several reports have reflected worry that being associated with his could be detrimental to re-election campaigns next year.

Temer so far has been able to hold on to his presidency thanks to the backing of his own Brazilian Democratic Movement Party and allies from the Brazilian Social Democracy Party, which backs Temer's proposals for overhauling labor rules and the pension system. While deeply unpopular among Brazilians, many economists have argued they are necessary to help pull Latin America's largest nation from recession.

Military Police stand guard outside the headquarters building of the Superior Electoral Court, in Brasilia, Brazil, Thursday, June 8, 2017.

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