It’s a metaphor.
Brazil Sinks Deeper Into Political Crisis
by Rachel Gamarski, Simone Preissler Iglesias, and Samy Adghirni, Bloomberg News
May 18, 2017, 12:50 PM EDT
Brazil’s political crisis deepened on Thursday as government allies began openly discussing scenarios for the replacement of embattled President Michel Temer.
Brazilians watched in shock as federal police carried out search and arrest warrants throughout the capital, Brasilia, in dramatic scenes reminiscent of the impeachment process last year that brought Temer to power. The president is expected to address the nation at 4 p.m. local time, according to Globonews cable TV.
The operation came after O Globo newspaper reported on leaked testimony that Temer allegedly approved payoffs to buy the silence of Eduardo Cunha, the mastermind behind last year’s ouster of former president Dilma Rousseff. Cunha is now in prison on corruption charges. The recorded testimony was submitted to the Supreme Court by two senior executives from meat-packing giant JBS SA as part of a plea bargain deal, according to the paper. The paper provided neither a transcript nor a recording, and Temer has denied wrongdoing.
The allegations are the latest twist in a sprawling corruption scandal that has reached the top levels of the country’s financial and political elite.
Markets tanked Thursday on the prospect that renewed turmoil would kill a reform agenda designed to fix depleted public coffers and pull the economy out of its deepest recession on record.
Despite initial attempts to show Temer was conducting business as usual at the presidential palace on Thursday, the 76-year-old career politician was deeply shaken by the events, according to a person familiar with his thinking who requested not to be named because of the matter’s sensitivity.
Opposition deputies have already filed impeachment proceedings. People close to Temer told Bloomberg that the most honorable exit may be the president’s removal by Brazil’s top electoral court. The court is currently assessing whether to nullify the results of the 2014 elections on the basis it was illegally financed. Hearings on the case are due to resume in a few days.