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  • Brazil's President Michel Temer speaks at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia.

    Brazil's President Michel Temer speaks at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia. | Photo: Reuters

Published 21 May 2017
Opinion

Temer's attitude toward the incriminating details revealed by Joesley Batista was not only deplorable but also punishable by law.

After overseeing democratically-elected Dilma Rousseff's ouster and now, embroiled in a series of bribe scandals, Brazilian president, Michel Temer, has had his own impeachment process protocoled by the Order of Attorneys of Brazil, known by its Portguese acronym OAB, local media reported Sunday. 

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The OAB Federal Council voted in favor of the decision in the early hours of Sunday morning, reported Brasil de Fato. While 25 members of the council voted in favor of Temer's impeachment, only one vote was made against and one abstained.

Each vote corresponds to the OAB's head representative in each Brazilian state. The request is expected to be filed with Brazil's lower house of Congress in the coming days.

According to the commission, Temer's crimes are well defined. He “lacked decorum and disobeyed the Public Servant Law” when meeting with Joesley Batista, owner of Brazilian meat company JBS, the report argued.

The bar association's decision comes after the release of a wiretap that revealed that Temer, in a meeting with Batista, discussed hush money being paid to Eduardo Cunha, former speaker of Brazil's lower house of representatives, so that embarrassing crimes jeopardizing the legitimacy of Temer's presidency would remain secret. Temer's response to those bribes was simply, “Look, you've got to keep that up.”

Batista also discussed bribing two judges, a prosecutor and a member of a police task force during the infamous wiretap that was reported by O Globo on May 17 and released the following day.

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Claudio Lamachia, national president of OAB, emphasized that Temer's attitude toward the incriminating details presented by Batista was not only deplorable but also punishable by law. By not denouncing or seeking competent authorities when presented with these crimes, Temer had acted on behalf of his personal interests as opposed to the greater public interest.

According to the OAB, Temer had violated Article 85 of Brazil's Constitution, which defines presidential and public servant crimes as being those committed when a public official doesn't alert the proper authorities of illicit acts.

The OAB's decision to file a request for Temer's impeachment comes in the wake of mass public calls for his removal. On Thursday, Parana Institute Research released a survey indicating that 87 percent of Brazilians favor the immediate removal of Temer. Meanwhile, 88 percent support Temer's impeachment, resignation or removal by the Supreme Court.

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