Brazilian President Michel Temer has vowed that he would block any bill granting immunity from corruption probes to members of the country’s Congress.
“It would be impossible for the president of the republic to approve something of this nature,” Temer said in a news conference on Sunday,
Temer, who was sitting alongside the speakers of the lower house and Senate, said that leaders of the two branches of the Congress were opposed to the so-called corruption amnesty.
"We all agreed there isn't the slightest basis... for going ahead with this proposal ... We agreed there will no consideration of an amnesty for slush funds or any other electoral crime,” he said.
Reports on Thursday showed that Brazilian lawmakers were discussing an anti-corruption legislation which could grant amnesty for past election crimes, including the use of slush funds in political campaigns.
Nearly 200 politicians, including people from Temer’s governing coalition, could be implicated by investigations into alleged acceptance of bribe money from the giant Petrobras state oil company as well as Brazil's largest engineering consortium Odebrecht.
Temer said, however, that he would veto any move by lawmakers meant to avoid prosecution for receiving graft money. He called on Congress members to set aside the amnesty controversy and instead focus on passing his proposed 20-year spending ceiling, a package of reforms and austerity measures which the Brazilian government hopes could pull the country out of economic slump.
“We are fighting the recession step by step and we are now starting to foster growth ... We will boost industry, business and agribusiness,” Temer said, adding that Brazilians could feel the first signs of an economic recovery in the second half of 2017.