Brazil’s Acting President Michel Temer said he will have more freedom to implement policies and introduce key proposals once the Senate votes whether to impeach his predecessor, Dilma Rousseff.
Temer, 75, took over Brazil’s top job last month when the chamber decided to open an impeachment trial against Rousseff. The Senate needs support from two-thirds of its members to impeach her and permanently end her mandate. If it fails to garner that level of backing, Rousseff would return to office, though her comeback is widely considered unlikely. The acting president said the vote is expected to occur by mid-August.
“The Senate decision opens up much more space to govern,” he said in an interview that aired Tuesday night on television channel GloboNews, adding the vote will give him more legitimacy. “Some of the issues that I haven’t had time to deal with yet will be dealt with after the vote, such as social security reform.”
Temer wants to trim pension payouts as part of his strategy to reduce spending and shrink a near-record budget deficit. He says that would boost confidence in a country suffering from almost double-digit inflation, rising unemployment and a corruption probe known as Car Wash that has landed top politicians and business executives in jail.
While three of Temer’s ministers have stepped down following allegations that they either were involved in or tried to obstruct Car Wash, the acting president said he doesn’t regret his cabinet choices. The three denied wrongdoing. He pointed out that his economic team led by Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles and central bank President Ilan Goldfajn is considered “exceptional” and will help him put the country back on track.