Brazilian president avoids bribery trial
Brazilian President Michel Temer obtained necessary votes from lawmakers Wednesday to avoid a trial for alleged corruption.
Congress rejected the charges against Temer by a 263 -227 margine, with 21 abstentions.
The opposition needed 342 votes to remove the president from power and place him on trial.
"A parliament's sovereign decision is not a personal victory for anyone, but a conquest of the democratic rule of law, the institutions and the Constitution itself," Temer said during a press conference following the vote.
Seeking to put the episode behind him, he said in the wake of the "eloquent decision", he would use the rest of his term to continue to take actions to restore economic growth.
"We are taking Brazil out of the most serious economic crisis in its history. It is urgent to put Brazil on the path of growth, job creation, modernization and social justice," he said.
Less than a year after taking power, Temer was formally accused of corruption by the country's attorney general in late June.
Temer, Brazil's first president to be charged for a crime while in office, is alleged to have accepted millions of dollars in bribes from a meatpacking industry executive.
"The government won, but is not leading anymore. It loses strength, loses credibility and loses in governability, which were the only things that sustained Temer's government," leftist opposition deputy José Guimaraes said after the vote results were released.
The vote protects Temer from facing a trial while in power but he could be judged after stepping down in January 2019.
According to local media, Brazil's top prosecutor, Rodrigo Janot, will file additional graft-related charges in the coming weeks against the very unpopular center-right leader.