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    Brazil's President Michel Temer faces corruption and spying allegations. | Photo: Reuters

Published 25 June 2017

A large majority of Brazilians want presidential elections according to a recent poll.

Brazilian Federal Police confirmed the audio of President Michel Temer orders bribes has not been altered and is a proof the president's involvement in the largest corruption scandal in the country.

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Temer Denies Espionage Allegations as Scandals Pile Up

Authorities said there were 180 "natural" audio interruptions and rejected claims by Temer that the audio had been edited to incriminate him in the Lava Jato scandal, where hundreds of politicians are accused of receiving bribes in exchange for securing government contracts.

"Experts found technical discontinuities, which are variations in the audio signal caused by technical situations, without signs of fraud or editing," said the police report in O Globo.

The state-run oil company Petrobras and the country's largest construction company, Odebrecht, are also implicated in the scheme.

In the wiretap of a conversation with Josley Batista, chairman of meatpacking giant JBS, Temer appears to endorse a bribe to potential witnesses and officials in corruption cases.

In the recording, after being informed that a bribe would be given to the former head of the lower house of Congress, Eduardo Cunha, Temer is heard saying “Look, you've got to keep that up.” Executives from JBS allege they paid the former vice president at least US$4.6 million in bribes since 2010 to help win government contracts, resolve tax disputes and receive free cheap loans from the state bank.

As part of their plea deal executives allege they've paid about US$154 million to nearly 1,900 politicians in the past decade, including some of Temer's ministers and close allies.

State Prosecutor Rodrigo Janot is expected to announce on June 27 if he will take the case against Temer to the Supreme Court.

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As the Senate-appointed Temer's popularity drops, with only 2 percent of respondents to Poder 360 polls consider the current administration in a positive light, 83 percent of Brazilian want direct elections to choose the next president according to Datafolha.

Temer, who became president after the impeachment process against Dilma Rousseff last year who many refer to as a parliamentary coup, has said he will not resign from his position.

Meanwhile, former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva climbed two percentage points in polls in a possible candidacy for president in 2018, according to a poll by Poder 360. Lula has a 27 percent support, up from 25 he had in May.

Jair Bolsonaro, from the PSC party stands in second place, but decreased his popularity from 21 to 14 percent during the same period.


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