Temer's Party Takes Top Two Leadership Spots in Legislature
Brazilian President Michel Temer received a major boost to his agenda this week as two allies were elected to top leadership positions in the legislative branch. This win for President Temer will allow him to advance his extensive austerity plan.
Eunicio Oliveira was elected President of the Federal Senate, the upper house of the Brazilian legislature, by a vote of 61-10 on February 1. Rodrigo Maia received 293 votes to become President of the Chamber of Deputies. Both Mr. Oliveira and Mr. Maia are members of the formidable Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB), which Mr. Temer leads. Both are close allies of President Temer and promise to double down on his austerity plans.
Both Oliveira and Maia support Temer’s fiscal austerity policies. Temer has advocated for a twenty-year cap on federal spending as well as a large cut in the pension program. Temer and his allies believe that the Brazilian government should exercise restraint while the country attempts to emerge from a two-year recession that has caused havoc in the economic and political landscape.
Multiple allegations of corruption against Mr. Oliveira and Mr. Maia dampen this victory. Both been accused of receiving bribes from Petrobas, the state-owned oil company that has involved in several corruption cases over the past few years.
Mr. Oliveira was accused of receiving over $7 million dollars in bribes for provisional contracts. In his three years as aSenator, his income has tripled to $31 million, leading to questions over the sources of his income. Although Mr. Maia is not an official suspect in any corruption investigations, critics have raised questions concerning phone messages exchanged with a contractor concerning campaign contributions.. Both politicians deny wrongdoing and focus on their new leadership roles.