In Brazil, tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets of Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and other cities Thursday, demanding the resignation of President Michel Temer over a corruption scandal.
Alexandre Carvalho: “We want Temer out. And not just him, we want everyone who is corrupt out, as well, because this Congress is a group of thugs. It is not worth it just to make Temer go to then have Congress put up another person in his place.”
There are growing calls for Temer’s impeachment, after the newspaper O Globo reported the president was secretly recorded approving hush-money payoffs for a powerful politician jailed on corruption charges. Temer on Thursday refused to step down, even as Brazil’s Supreme Court released the audiotape and said it was investigating him for bribery of a potential witness.
President Michel Temer: “At no moment did I authorize anyone to be paid so that they’d remain quiet. I did not buy the silence of anyone, for a very simple reason: exactly and precisely because I am not afraid of any testimony.”
Temer said he should remain in office to help end Brazil’s recession—the longest in its history. The claim came as Brazil’s stock market halted trading early Thursday after plunging by more than 10 percent on news of the corruption scandal.