Brazil's electoral court starts trial of 2014 case that could topple Brazilian president

Source: Xinhua| 2017-06-07 12:42:24|Editor: MJ
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RIO DE JANEIRO, June 6 (Xinhua) -- Brazil's Superior Electoral Court (TSE) started Tuesday the trial of President Michel Temer's alleged involvement in illegal campaign financing during the 2014 presidential election, which could possibly topple him.

The accusation was brought up after the election by defeated Brazilian Socialist Democracy Party (PSDB), whose candidate lost to then President Dilma Rousseff and Temer, who was Rousseff's vice presidential running mate.

Temer took over the presidency in 2016 after Rousseff was suspended and impeached.

The first day of the trial was marked by Temer's defense team trying to separate him and Rousseff from the allegations, denying any wrongdoing.

Rousseff's defense team argued that the process against her has lost its main purpose since she was already deposed. The court rejected this allegation and will analyze other issues when the trial resumes Wednesday.

If the TSE finds that Temer is indeed responsible for the illegal fundraising of the votes he received in 2014, he will be suspended and replaced by someone else to serve the rest of his presidency until December 2018.

In addition, the embattled president is also under investigation of a separate corruption case involving a secret tape recording of conversation between him and an executive of the meat-packaging company JBS.

During the conversation, Temer appeared to have endorsed hush money to a key witness of corruption cases related to his government. He dismissed the accusation.

The opposition has been calling for Temer's resignation and several requests for his impeachment have been made in the past few weeks.

The president, in defiance of all the pressure, has vowed to cling on to power.