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Foreign affairs

Brazil's deeply unpopular president avoids corruption trial

Recent polls have his approval rating at a dismal 3 percent, but Brazil's president was able to survive a vote Wednesday night on whether he should be tried on corruption charges.

Of the 513 deputies in the Chamber of Deputies, 251 voted in support of President Michel Temer, 233 were against him, and the rest either abstained or were absent; he needed 171 votes in his favor in order to avoid being suspended and tried on charges of leading a criminal organization and obstruction of justice, The Associated Press reports. Temer was vice president under President Dilma Rousseff, but after she was impeached and removed from office last year, he took over.

What started as an investigation into money laundering turned into a massive corruption probe. Prosecutors say that political parties sold favors and appointments to some of the country's most powerful businessmen, and that since Temer rose to power, his party has received $190 million in bribes; Temer denies the claims. His term is over on Dec. 31, 2018, and in next year's elections, all 513 seats in the Chamber of Deputies are up for grabs. Many of Brazil's television stations aired Wednesday's vote live, letting people at home watch as they voted for or against the deeply unpopular president.