Rousseff's potential successors also face graft allegations

BRASILIA • In Brazil's often surreal politics, the oddest - and most ignored - aspect of the current impeachment debate is that many of the politicians baying for President Dilma Rousseff's head could be in as much trouble as she is, or worse.

The three politicians in line to succeed Ms Rousseff are also tainted by graft allegations.

• Vice-President Michel Temer - who turned on Ms Rousseff and would become interim president if the Senate opens a trial - is alleged to have been involved in illegal ethanol dealings at the state-run oil company Petrobras. He also denies that he helped a now-jailed executive win a job at Petrobras, in order to share bribes for contracts. The 75-year-old self-described humourless constitutional lawyer and behind-the-scenes political operator has attracted attention for marrying a 32-year-old former beauty contestant as his third wife.

• The Speaker of the Lower House of Congress, Mr Eduardo Cunha, has been charged with taking millions of dollars in bribes linked to Petrobras. Still, Mr Cunha continues to wield huge power, fending off a congressional ethics committee, where he is accused of lying about alleged Swiss bank accounts.

• The Senate president, Mr Renan Calheiros, is under investigation over claims that he received bribes in the scandal surrounding Petrobras and also dodged taxes. He is also accused of having a lobbyist pay maintenance to a former lover with whom he had had a child.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS, BLOOMBERG, NEW YORK TIMES

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 19, 2016, with the headline 'Rousseff's potential successors also face graft allegations'. Print Edition | Subscribe