Embattled Brazilian president orders troops to restore order

  • Embattled Brazilian president orders troops to restore order

Embattled Brazilian president orders troops to restore order

Temer has denied any wrongdoing and says that an audiotape that appeared to show him endorsing such a bribe was faked. The president is resisting calls to resign and has said he will fight the accusations.

Meirelles, a favorite of investors who took over the finance ministry past year and headed the central bank under Brazil's leftist former president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, is seen as a prime contender to replace Temer.

Masked protesters responded by firing powerful fireworks at police, setting ablaze furniture in the lobby of the Agriculture Ministry and spraying anti-Temer graffiti on government buildings. Rousseff and her supporters labeled that a "coup" orchestrated by Temer and his allies in an effort to halt a sweeping, three-year corruption probe that has placed scores of sitting politicians under investigation.

While Jobim, 71, is a member of Temer's Brazilian Democractic Movement Party, he has the broadest connections of the hopefuls.

"The fact of the matter is President Michel Temer signed the order to bring out the soldiers".

In order to help rebuild support among legislators and their constituents, Temer is pushing a series of pork barrel projects, such as wage increases for public tax collectors, debt refinancing for small and mid-size companies, as well as land ordinance regulations sought by farmers, according to a person with direct access to the president who asked not to be named.

If pushed out, Temer - who has no vice president - would be replaced by a candidate chosen by Congress until after the next elections in October 2018.

Some 35,000 people have taken to the streets of Brasilia to express their discontent with the current Brazilian leadership and to demand early presidential elections, Globo reported.

Temer's office said in a statement that it would fire Filippelli.

It also notes that Temer "would like to emphasize that he will not hesitate to exercise the authority that his position gives him whenever it is necessary". The scandal follows a landslide of other corruption allegations against much of Temer's government and Congress in a huge probe known as "Operation Car Wash".

The PSDB leader, who asked for anonymity because his party has not yet chose to break with Temer, said Cardoso, who led Brazil from 1995 to 2003, could be a "sensational" option.

He lost yet another aide on Wednesday, when Sandro Mabel resigned. Still, it's unclear if lawmakers, many of whom are facing corruption allegations, would pick a judge to govern them.

With Brazil deeply divided and a political crisis deepening, sessions in both houses of Congress became chaotic as lawmakers shouted one another down.

Several lawmakers have submitted requests for Temer's impeachment to the speaker and Maia has angered them by saying he would take his time to review the requests.

The riot police cracked down on tens of thousands of protesters who took to the streets against Temer and calling for fresh direct elections after the latest corruption scandal to rock the government.

And in an unrelated case that underlined the far-reaching impact of Brazil's ongoing anti-graft operation, the Supreme Court on Tuesday sentenced one of the country's most infamously corrupt and seemingly untouchable politicians to almost eight years in prison. Meirelles is seen by many politicians as the man to carry on with Temer's unpopular austerity measures and proposed pension and labor laws reforms.

Associated Press photographer Eraldo Peres reported this story in Brasilia and AP writer Mauricio Savarese reported from Rio de Janeiro.