BRAZIL’S “teflon” President Michel Temer survived a congressional impeachment vote over corruption allegations on Wednesday night.
A two-thirds super-majority in the lower chamber of deputies was needed to suspend the unelected president and put him on trial on charges of obstruction of justice and leading a criminal organisation.
But only 233 of the 513 members voted in favour of the motion, with 251 against.
Earlier in the day, Temer was hospitalised briefly for a urinary obstruction but emerged smiling and signalling thumbs up.
The latest charges relate to a government cartel granting senior appointments in return for bribes. Dozens of politicians and businessmen have been jailed in the probe.
Mr Temer survived a similar vote in August on a separate bribery charge.
Socialism and Liberty Party deputy Luiza Erundina, who supported impeachment, said: “I vote with more than 90 per cent of Brazilians who have already convicted Temer’s corrupted administration.”
But Temer ally Celso Russomanno of the Brazilian Republican Party said: “This accusation is fragile, inept and worse than the first one.”
Since coming to power in the August 2016 “legislative coup” against elected Workers’ Party president Dilma Rousseff — under whom he served as vice-president — Mr Temer’s pro-austerity government has been rocked by corruption scandals. Recent polls put his personal approval rating at just 3 per cent.
Meanwhile prosecutors are hounding Ms Rousseff’s predecessor Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who is seeking a new term in next year’s presidential election.
Sustainability Network party deputy Alessandro Molon, who also voted for impeachment, lamented: “We are going to be stuck with a lame-duck president for one more year.”
“[Temer] is not getting what he wants from this congress because of the elections. And we are not going to get an agenda that is good for Brazilians, who reject Temer.”