Brazil president denies OK'ing bribe

The Latest Top newspaper calls on Brazil leader to quit

Temer did not seem to have any opinion about the case either. "In no moment did I authorize a payment to anyone for their silence", he said. "I know what I have done and I know the correctness of my actions", the president stressed. "I demand an immediate investigation". The police released pictures of the money used in the alleged bribe, and the Supreme Court has suspended Aecio Neves from his Senate seat. "If Temer doesn't fall, he will lead a walking dead administration".

The tape, reported by O Globo Wednesday evening, revealed that Temer had given his blessing to hefty bribes in the name of keeping a key witness, Eduardo Cunha, quiet in the country's largest-ever corruption investigation.

Sao Paulo - Brazil is reeling from a dramatic new twist in its ongoing political crisis.

Protests were planned in the main cities across Brazil on Thursday night, many actually beginning shortly after Temer's refusal to resign was reported, with protesters calling for his ouster and direct elections.

Temer immediately denied the report in O Globo newspaper.

The O Globo newspaper reported on Wednesday night that Temer met in March with Joesley Batista, Chairman of meat company JBS SA (JBSS3.SA), which grew rapidly under 13 years of leftist Workers Party rule due largely to low-cost loans from Brazil's national development bank.

At the same time, a massive corruption scandal involving the state oil company Petrobras was unfolding.

In his statement Thursday, Temer angrily responded to the claim, saying: "I never bought anyone's silence".

JBS, which grew rapidly under 13 years of leftist Workers Party rule due largely to low-priced loans from Brazil's national development bank, on Thursday said in a statement that seven of its executives, including Batista, had reached plea bargain deals with prosecutors.

Editor's Remarks: The scandal threatens to topple Temer's government, which only came to power last August after his predecessor, Dilma Rousseff, was impeached.

Even before the latest crisis, Temer was mired in controversy.

Several hundred anti-Temer protesters gathered in São Paulo, while in the capital Brasília motorists honked horns and yelled "Temer out!"

The regulator is also examining the sale of shares in the company by its controlling shareholders, the report said.

The JBS executives' plea bargain agreement is being overseen by Supreme Court Justice Edson Fachin, who is responsible for the bribery investigation known as Operation Car Wash.

Already a Who's Who of the elite has been imprisoned or placed under investigation. Rousseff was not directly implicated; Temer, however, was accused of participating in the graft.

Temer quickly set about introducing market reforms to try to get Brazil's floundering economy back on the rails.

Risks that labor and pension reforms could stall will likely prompt the central bank to slow the pace of interest rate cuts, limiting a source of relief for businesses battered by the recession, economists said. JBS, the world's biggest meatpacker, declined to comment.

Scattered protests erupted across the country with both Temer's rivals and supporters urging him to step down. Ronaldo Caiado, another member of Temer's coalition in the legislature.

The first man then says: "You have to keep that up, see?"

"Resignation is the easiest way to resolve this", said Senator Ana Amelia, from the PP, who had supported Rousseff's impeachment previous year.

Many lawmakers, including some Temer allies, have called for his resignation. He also told allied lawmakers that he would not be driven from office.

The agenda appeared to be created to underline the center-right president's insistence on maintaining authority.

"After the contents of the tape became public, there's no other way out for Temer than to leave", said Augusto Tadeki, a 23-year-old unemployed computer technician.

On Tuesday, a congressional panel backed by Brazil's powerful farm lobby called for the dismantling of the Indian affairs agency Funai. The mission of another Lula government would be to contain the growing militancy of the Brazilian working class and keep it subordinated to capitalist interests. The leftist Workers' Party of Rousseff scents the chance for revenge. "This is the same vision that wants to destroy the forests of Brazil".



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