Brazil’s President Michel Temer said Sunday he will block any attempt at passing a legislation that seeks to grant amnesty for politicians who received illegal donations for their campaigns. The controversial legislation has seen weeks of protests by Brazilians.
“We agreed there will [be] no consideration of an amnesty for slush funds or any other electoral crime,” Temer said at a news conference flanked by the Speakers of both houses of Congress.
“It would be impossible for a president of the Republic to sanction such a proposal. It was necessary to listen to the voice of the street. We all agreed there isn’t the slightest basis for going ahead with this proposal,” he reportedly said.
The proposal comes at a time when state oil company Petrobras is under investigation over allegations of corruption. Temer, who came to power after the impeachment of former President Dilma Rousseff, has promised to put an end to corruption in the country. Rousseff was accused of manipulating the budget, an allegation she has denied.
Geddel Vieira Lima, a cabinet minister, resigned last week over a corruption scandal that allegedly involved the president. Temer denied accusations of him attempting to help Lima but a spokeswoman for Brazil’s public prosecutor said a probe into Temer could be launched. Lima is the fourth minister to exit the government over allegations of corruption.
Temer also urged Congress to focus on a legislation aimed at pulling the country out of its worst recession since the 1930s by introducing major cuts on social spending and other programs implemented over the last 13 years.
“We are fighting the recession step by step and we are now starting to foster growth,” he said, adding that an economic recovery can only be expected during the second half of 2017.