Under Strong Pressure, Temer Withdraws Military from Brasilia’s Streets

By Isaac Risco (dpa)

Photo: AFP

HAVANA TIMES — Brazilian President, Michel Temer, gave into the latest criticism about the serious political crisis the country is experiencing today and withdrew military presence which had been ordered to be deployed in Brasilia a day before in order to contain violent protests.

After having been harshly criticized for authorizing 1,500 soldiers to take to the capital’s streets, Temer revoked the order after an emergency meeting at the Planalto Palace.

“The decree made on May 24th 2017 which authorized the used of the Armed Forces in order to ensure law and order in the Federal District (Brasilia) has hereby been revoked,” stated the new decree signed by Temer. Deploying these troops was initially set to last a week until May 31st.

The measure had intensified pressure on Temer, who is currently facing requests for “impeachment” or resignation both on the streets as well as in political and economic sectors that used to be allied with him, due to a recent corruption scandal being investigated against him.

As a result of martial law being enforced, Brazilian social media started firing criticism against Temer’s government, whose legitimacy has been constantly questioned ever since he came into office in 2016.

The opposition, the Workers Party (PT), which was led by impeached President Dilma Rousseff, criticized the order to deploy soldiers and said it was the behavior of an authoritarian regime.

The measure is “unnecessary and disproportionate, and it adheres to the backward behavior that was typical during the military dictatorship’s Years of Lead,” the left-wing PT wrote in a harsh statement.

The minister of Defense, Raul Jungmann, responsible for announcing the first decree, appeared again today to justify the measure. Due to riots, “it was absolutely necessary,” Jungmann said about the deployment of military personnel.

Temer decreed the measure on Wednesday after violence seriously escaled in Brasilia, where protesters were demanding his resignation and set the Ministry of Agriculture on fire as well as vandalizing a few other ministry headquarters and other government buildings.

The capital was taken over by chaos for several hours, with barricades burning in the streets and the Police attacking protestors with tear gas and rubber bullets. At least 49 people were injured. According to several reports, a policeman even shot a gun at one of the protesters.

According to the most recent statistics given by the authorities, about 45,000 people took part in the protest. Social movements and union organizers have said that there were up to 200,000 people present.

The government’s heavy reaction also affected Congress, where there was uproar and even pushing and shoving between parliament members, not too far from where these protests were taking place in the street.

After the government said it had implemented the measure on the request of the president of the Lower Chamber, Rodrigo Maia, he said he had in fact requested the National Force to intervene, a mixed military troop frequently used in urban operations, not the Army. Maia is one of Temer’s allies.

“There was a misunderstanding,” Minister of Defense Jungmann stated today, acquitting the Parliament leader from this controversial measure.

The decision to deploy the military has only worsened the whirlwind surrounding Temer in recent hours, submerged in an intense institutional crisis for the last week which threatens to end his government.

The Supreme Court has authorized investigations to be undertaken against Temer based on a corruption testimony put forward by businessman Joesley Batista, which includes an audio recording where the president appears to support bribery payments to politicians.

Temer refuses to step down. However, the crisis has practically paralyzed his government, which is pushing for a complicated economic reforms process.

According to Brazilian media, several of Temer’s allies are already preparing for his possible impeachment. Public opinion has been openly mentioning names of a possible successor, who would have to be elected within 30 days in an internal vote at Parliament.

An option which is gaining more and more strength as an option to resolve the crisis is that of the Supreme Electoral Court voiding the way Temer came into power as Rousseff’s vice-president in the 2014 elections, because of charges that her campaign received illegal funding from the Odebrecht construction company.

The charge is old, but a possible ruling against Temer – and Rousseff – at the hearing which is set to take place on June 6th, seems more viable after the current corruption scandal. If that’s the case, Temer will be removed from power.

5 thoughts on “Under Strong Pressure, Temer Withdraws Military from Brasilia’s Streets

  • Well said .Es verdad.

  • The people of Brazil are revolting en mass and for good reason .Dilma Rousseff was probably the least corrupt politician ,if indeed she was at all , to have served as leader in Brazil . Temer and his gang of corrupt followers know that their time is up .They are so steeped in corruption , I find it hard to believe that they have gotten this far.
    New elections in Brazil soon I hope for their sake.

  • This is the case of Temer,a corrupt official trampling over his President, accusing her of corruption when his hands are dirtier. The situation in Brazil as in Venezuela, is about the power of the people who are the real archtects of true Democracy. The PEOPLE and not the oligarchs. It is high time that those who want to keep us in bondage as in yesteryears, must realize that we have discovered our strength through unity of purposee and are determined to exercise that right. With this unity and strength of purpose, we can defeat the most military power in the world.

  • Who are these “otras fuerzas”?

  • Creo que otras fuerzas están trabajando para desestabilizar toda esta región. Los minerales, el petróleo y así sucesivamente es mucho menos costoso que traerlo desde el medio y el lejano oriente

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