Further cementing the widespread opposition against the President from diverse sections of the Brazilian public, an open letter signed Thursday by over 100 Brazilian diplomats condemned the administration of Michel Temer, and called for the restoration of democratic elections to the country.
The letter, signed by 100 Brazilian diplomats in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, expresses concern that the “significant achievements” of democracy in Brazil are under threat by the crises surrounding the unelected Temer administration, his refusal to step down amidst ongoing protests and investigations, and the use of state force to suppress dissent.
“We call on Brazilian society, especially its leaders, to renew their commitment to a constructive and responsible dialogue, calling on all leaders to avoid authoritarian temptations, conveniences and personal or partisan attachments for the restoration of the democratic pact in the country,” an excerpt from the letter says.
“Only in this way will it be possible to resume a new cycle of development, legitimized by popular vote and in harmony with the ideals of social and environmental justice and respect fo human rights,” the letter continues.
The letter signifies the deepening of opposition to Temer, whose popularity is now in the single digits. Mass movements, workers unions, and government officials alike have called for the holding of free and democratic elections, to which Temer has only dug in his heels in response.
President Temer, who took power last year after his predecessor Dilma Rousseff was removed in what many call a parliamentary coup that allowed the circumvention of elections, has been deeply unpopular and widely protested for his administration's corruption scandals and implementation of deep austerity measures.
“We reject any restriction on the free exercise of the right to peaceful and democratic protest. We reject the use of force to suppress or inhibit protests. It is up to the State to ensure the safety of demonstrators and the integrity of public assets, taking into account proportionality in the employment of police forces and respect for constitutional rights and guarantees,” the letter writes.
Under his administration, and encouraged by the International Monetary Fund, significant cuts have been made to social security and pensions, among other public services.
In the midst of already declining popularity, a tape was leaked which recorded a conversation in which Temer can be clearly heard giving his approval to bribes.
Following widespread mass protests, the initiation of a corruption investigation, and calls for his resignation, Temer reiterated that he would not be resigning from the Presidency.
In response to escalating protests, Temer ordered the military to respond, and several dozen protesters were injured as a result.