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Crisis: President Temer maneuvers to regroup his political base

Brazil - President Michel Temer

Involved in a paralyzing corruption scandal, President Michel Temer maneuvers to regroup his shallow political base and seeks a more modest parliamentary agenda in an attempt to show some normalcy.

On Monday, key partners in Temer’s allied base closed conditional support to him and a series of bills that had been stalled since last week, including a proposal to deregulate the job market.

In parallel, the Supreme Court (STF) postponed the decision on the sequencing of a corruption investigation against the president, a process he may should well have missed.

Temer was hit by surprise last week on charges of passive corruption and obstruction of justice at a crucial time for his economic reform agenda.

Temer may have been able to earn some time, but he continues to face a tough battle to secure his political survival, and even more difficult, to rebuild an allied base capable of passing controversial measures, such as a bill to reduce retirement spending, said the analyst Politician Andre Cesar, from Brasilia.

“If he survives, he will have much less support,” said Caesar. The Temer administration may be able to approve “some microeconomic reforms, but forget the big ones, like labor and social security – there is no climate for that.”