Worldbeaters: Michel Temer, President of Brazil

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Worldbeaters: Michel Temer

He is Brazil’s oldest president, and he led the action to get the president before him – Dilma Rousseff – out of power.


by Agencia Brasil/Alamy Stock Photo

Michel Temer is 76 - Brazil’s oldest president, and one of the most controversial. He knows a lot about politics and business. He first joined the assembly in 1986 and WikiLeaks say he has given information about Brazil to the US Embassy since 2006. He became leader of the centrist Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (BDMP) and in 2011 became vice-president. Dilma Rousseff of the leftist Brazilian Workers’ Party was president. In May 2016, Rousseff had to leave office because of a coup. The BDMP supported the coup and Temer was the politician who benefited most.

They said they got rid of Rousseff because she went against a small budget laws when she used state money to help the ‘Bolsa Familia’ (a very important social grant programme for poor Brazilians). Some people said this was serious fraud; others said many governments before her had done the same. But many people who voted for the coup wanted the return of the rightwing. Some even said they wanted to return to the ‘glory days’ of the 1960s military dictatorship. One conservative congress member dedicated his vote to the person who tortured Rousseff when she was given electric shocks and beaten in prison because she was against the dictatorship.

Clever: Temer joined the Brazilian Workers’ Party in a coalition only because he wanted to stop their anti-austerity programme, and to make them change to neoliberal policies. When they didn’t do this quickly enough, he turned against them.

Funny: Temer has written a text book on constitutional law, and a collection of his poems – ‘Anonymous Intimacy’. People now laugh at his poems on Twitter.

Temer’s cabinet is only white men – but Brazil is 52-per-cent mixed race and 53-per-cent women. Eight of these cabinet members (including him) were connected to the corrupt Petrobras affair with the national oil company. Temer is complicated. He likes privatization and less rules but he also likes some individual rights, for example abortion.

The biggest problem is probably his friends. For example, the conservative mayor of São Paulo, Joao Doria – he now controls São Paulo like a police sergeant. Then there is the BBB (bullets, beef, Bible) group of members of congress; they support the security forces, big ranchers and the religious establishment. Recently there have been attacks on Brazil’s social movements for example the violent police attack on Florestan Fernandes National School, run by the Landless Workers’ Movement (MST). This shows that Temer – now unpopular – cannot or does not want to stop repression.

Sources:; Economist; CNN; New York Times; London Review of Books; Time magazine; Wikipedia;; teleSUR;

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