Brazil president Michel Temer says 'truth won' after escaping corruption trial

Temer arrives for a ceremony at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Oct 26, 2017.
Temer arrives for a ceremony at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Oct 26, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS

BRASILIA (AFP) - Brazilian President Michel Temer on Thursday (Oct 26) said "the truth won" in a congressional vote sparing him from going on trial on corruption charges.

"Brazil is always stronger than any challenge and it is even stronger now that its institutions have been put to the test in such dramatic fashion these last months," Temer said in a video message.

Polls show Temer is Brazil's most unpopular leader on record and among the most unpopular in the world. However, allies in the lower house of Congress managed to block a push Wednesday to force Temer to stand trial in the Supreme Court on two corruption charges.

 

The first sitting president in the country to face criminal charges, Temer is accused of racketeering and obstruction of justice.

He has retained key political support in the elite by championing austerity reforms - particularly a reduction of the pension system - seen by investors as helping Brazil to regain its economic footing after a deep recession.

"The economy has returned to growth after the worst recession in our history," Temer said. "That will be the biggest achievement of my government."