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'I won't resign' amid corruption allegations: Brazil's President Michel Temer

'I won't resign' amid corruption allegations: Brazil's President Michel Temer

"Brazilian stocks and assets and their currency have rallied very strongly up until really today". "I did not buy anybody's silence". "I won't resign, and I demand that everything be fully cleared up", the head of state said in a message to the nation from the Planalto presidential palace.

"I can't see how Temer survives this", said David Fleischer, a political science professor at the University of Brasilia. Aecio Neves, who almost won the presidency in 2014 and planned to run again next year. He has denied wrongdoing.

Shares on Brazil's principal stock market plummeted 10.47 percent in the first minutes after opening Thursday, triggering the so-called automatic "circuit breaker", halting trading for the first time since the global financial meltdown of 2008. Brazil's currency, the real, lost 8 percent of its value against the US dollar.

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

A recording of the alleged conversation was presented to prosecutors by the chairman of JBS, the world's biggest meatpacker, as part of plea bargain negotiations, the O Globo newspaper reported on Wednesday.

The hush money allegations left Temer teetering barely a year after he took power in controversial circumstances, replacing his impeached predecessor, leftist president Dilma Rousseff.

Temer's administration has been embroiled in corruption scandals since being installed in power past year, but the Batista tape is perhaps the strongest blow to the stability of the government yet, plunging the already highly unpopular executive deeper into crisis.

That image of being above it all has certainly worked in one way for Temer: while much of the rest of the political elite became embroiled in corruption scandals, the president remained remarkably untouched.

The corruption probe has led to the imprisonment of some of Brazil's most prominent politicians and business owners.

The statement from Temer's office acknowledges a meeting took place between Temer and Batista, adding "there was no dialogue that could compromise the President of the Republic's conduct".

Temer allegedly told Batista: "You need to keep doing that, OK?"

JBS representatives did not respond to emails sent by The Associated Press seeking comment.

The following are the threats he faces: FORCED TO QUIT If his coalition allies abandon him, as some have started to do, Temer would no longer have enough support to govern Brazil and pass austerity measures badly needed to bring a gaping budget deficit under control.

Cunha is in prison after having been found guilty of taking millions of dollars in bribes in Brazil's giant Petrobras oil company embezzlement scandal. Since launching three years ago, the "Car Wash" probe into billions of dollars in kickbacks has put several top businessmen and politicians in jail.

Under Brazil's constitution, Temer's resignation or removal would require Congress to choose someone to serve the balance of ousted President Dilma Rousseff's 2015-2019 term.

"This climate isn't one in which to work", Rodrigo Maia, president of the lower chamber, told Globo News after adjourning legislators.

And, political scientists expressed doubts Thursday over Temer's future tenure.

Leading politicians and a third of Temer's cabinet have already been caught up in the investigation of systematic bribery in return for political favours and contracts with state-run enterprises.

The current allegations is not new territory for Temer, who is also accused of illegally financing his campaign during the 2014 elections.


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