Brazilian president faces election court showdown

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BRASÍLIA: Brazil’s President Michel Temer, already fighting a huge graft scandal, faces a court hearing on Tuesday that could see him forced from office, plunging Latin America’s biggest country into untested political waters. Temer has been hanging by a thread since the revelation of a secret audio clip in which he is allegedly heard giving his blessing to payment of hush money by a meatpacking tycoon to a top politician jailed for corruption. But starting on Tuesday, he faces the separate, more immediate challenge of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, known as the TSE. The TSE is deciding whether abuse of power – principally the use of corrupt campaign money – fatally undermined the validity of the 2014 election in which Temer was reelected vice president with then president Dilma Rousseff. When Rousseff was impeached last year, Temer took over. If the TSE judges Temer to have been responsible for abuses in 2014, the court could then annul the election results, throwing Brazil into its second presidential crisis in just over a year. The verdict will be voted on by the seven-judge panel.

AFP

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