Brazilian President Michel Temer's ally resigns amid corruption scandal

November 25, 2016 10:30 pm

The photo taken on June 15, 2016, shows Brazilian President , right, and General Secretary of the Brazilian Presidency Geddel Vieira Lima speaking during a meeting with party leaders of the National Congress at Planalto Palace in Brasilia. (Photo by AFP)

Brazilian President Michel Temer’s ally and prominent minister has quit over an influence-peddling scandal in another blow to the new government.
General Secretary of the Brazilian Presidency Geddel Vieira Lima, 57, tendered his resignation in a letter to Temer published in the media on Friday.
President Temer himself is reportedly embroiled in the influence-peddling scandal.
Brazil’s Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper said another ex-minister had told police that Temer had pressured him to interfere in a business deal involving Vieira Lima.
According to the daily, former Culture Minister Marcelo Calero said the president and Vieira Lima had asked him to approve a building project in the city of Salvador de Bahia, where Vieira Lima has an apartment.
The G1 website reported that Calero had recorded the discussion with Temer. The Brazilian president denies the allegation.
Temer took over as acting head of state in May before becoming president in August after President Dilma Rousseff was impeached and dismissed over a series of allegations of financial wrongdoing and breaking budget laws.
Vieira Lima is the sixth minister to resign since May.
Earlier, three of Temer’s ministers quit after being named in the corruption scandal engulfing Petrobras, the state-owned oil company. Another minister resigned over internal irregularities.
Brazil is currently witnessing what is believed to be the country’s biggest anti-corruption push in its history.
Prosecutors have charged nearly 200 people, including top executives and politicians. Over 80 people have already been found guilty and sentenced.
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