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Brazilian President Says He Won't Resign Over Hush Money Allegations

19 May 2017

According to a May 17 report from O Globo, the president was caught on tape asking the chairman of Brazil's JBS meat-packing company, Joesley Batista, to buy the silence of Eduardo Cunha, the former president of the lower house who has been in prison since November 2016.

"At no time did I authorize the paying of anyone", Temer said emphatically, raising his voice and pounding his index finger against the podium.

"I did not buy the silence of anyone", President Temer said, referring to the allegations made against him.

Free webinar: Register now to learn about Closing the Gap between Government and IT with Army and Military Health System. "I've always honored my name", he said.

The Supreme Federal Tribunal opened an investigation into the accusations and lifted the seal on the recording. The accord related to investigations into transactions between JBS, the Batistas' holding company, and state-run banks and pensions funds, the person said.

Three people with direct knowledge of the investigation said the O Globo report was accurate.

The country's Bovespa stock index fell in Sao Paulo trading by about 10.5%, forcing a temporary trade stop for stocks. The real closed down almost 8 percent at 3.38 per USA dollar. Both chambers of Congress cancelled sessions and Mr Temer's office axed his planned activities.

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Batista also mentioned former cabinet minister Geddel Vieira Lima, who used to serve as a bridge between him and the president but became hard to be contacted for being investigated and quitting his job. "Even if the recordings don't show something that awful, you can't put the toothpaste back in the tube", said Claudio Couto, a political science professor at Fundacao Getulio Vargas, a Sao Paulo-based university and think tank.

Only 24 hours ago, President Michel Temer was at the head of a stable administration.

Several hundred anti-Temer protesters gathered in Sao Paulo, while in the capital Brasilia motorists honked horns and yelled "Temer out!".

Officers in the southern city of Curitiba searched the home of federal deputy Rodrido Rocha Loures, a longtime confidant of Temer and a member of the president's Brazilian Democratic Movement Party, or PMDB.

The protest was sparked by Temer's statement on Thursday in which he vowed not to resign, insisting on his innocence.

One man, who is apparently Temer, complains that Cunha could potentially embarrass him.

The scandal is the latest shockwave from the "Car Wash" graft probe ripping through Brazilian politics. Temer is reportedly heard on the tape telling Batista, "You've got to keep this up, OK?" Cunha is now in jail due to his involvement in the corruption scandal that rocked the nation in recent years.

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Brazilian President Michel Temer has denied today's allegations that he condoned bribing a possible witness in a corruption case.

The O Globo report also details other improprieties by Brazilian businessmen and politicians.

The ongoing scandal deepened at dawn on Thursday as police searched the Rio de Janeiro home and Brasilia office of Senator Aecio Neves, who almost won the presidency in 2014 and planned to run again next year. Aecio Neves, who almost won the presidency in 2014 and planned to run again next year.

"The Central Bank is monitoring the impact of the information recently released by the press and will act to maintain the full functionality of the markets".

Despite all the calls for his head, the veteran centre-right politician - who took over past year after the impeachment of leftist president Dilma Rousseff - came out swinging.

Even before the latest revelations, Temer's approval rating stood at barely 9 percent, with large sections of the population seeing his presidency as wholly illegitimate.

"An experienced politician and legal expert himself, Temer has avoided interfering with the investigations", said Sidney Nakahodo, a lecturer at Columbia University's School of worldwide and Public Affairs specializing in political, social and economic development in Brazil.

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Brazilian President Says He Won't Resign Over Hush Money Allegations