Pressure grows on Brazilian president to resign

Corruption allegations continue to blight Michel Temer after close aide is arrested

Michel Temer, Brazilian president
Brazilian President Michel Temer
(Image credit: Igo Estrela / Stringer)

Pressure on Brazil's president Michel Temer to step down shows no sign of easing off following reports that one of his special advisers has been arrested over corruption allegations.

Tadeu Filippelli, one of Temer's closest aides, and two other senior politicians are accused of deliberately inflating the cost of the 2014 World Cup football stadium in Brasilia in return for bribes from the construction company.

The venue, which was used in the quarter-final and third-placed play-off of the 2014 World Cup, "was initially budgeted at $180m, but ended up costing $454m," reports The Guardian.

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It's the second most expensive football stadium ever built after London's Wembley.

Following Filippelli's arrest, Temer's office announced his dismissal. But Temer's woes were compounded when another top aide, Rodrigo Rocha Loures, surrendered a bag filled with part of the $150,000 (£116,000) in alleged hush money meant for former House Speaker Eduardo Cunha, according to the country's federal police.

The alleged money was the subject of a secret tape recording of the President released last week in which it appeared he told an accomplice that he "had to keep paying Cunha" in order to keep him quiet.

Brazil's highest court has opened investigations into Temer for alleged obstruction of justice and involvement in passive corruption.

Brazil's bar association also weighed in with "the council voting 25 to 1 in favour of an impeachment hearing," reports the Financial Times.

"We are requesting the impeachment of another president of the republic, the second time . . . in one year and four months," said Claudio Lamachia, the bar association's president, referring to the impeachment last year of Dilma Rousseff, Temer's predecessor.

Temer has denied the accusations and refused to step down. "I won't resign. Oust me if you want," he said in an interview for Brazil's Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper.

The allegations come a week after what Bloomberg described as an "epic showdown" between former President (and Temer's potential successor) Luiz Lula and the country's famed corruption judge Sergio Moro.

Lula was closely questioned for five hours by Moro over his alleged masterminding of "Operation Car Wash", the name given to the complex web of bribery and graft that has engulfed a number of top politicians and major companies in Brazil over the past few years.

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