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In First Speech as Stand-in President, Temer Criticises Situation in Brazil and Pledges Support for Operation Lava Jato

05/13/2016 - 10h25

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GUSTAVO URIBE
GABRIEL MASCARENHAS
MARINA DIAS
FROM BRASÍLIA

In his first speech as stand-in President, Michel Temer appealed to the private sector and to the political class to support the reforms that he hopes will give a boost to Brazil's economic growth.

Temer also swore he would use presidential powers to protect the Lava Jato investigations from any external interferences that could weaken the Operation.

"Operation Lava Jato has become a reference, and as one, should be protected against any interference that could weaken it," he added.

During the appointment ceremony for his new ministers, the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party member set out to charm National Congress.

He reminded those present of his sworn commitment to the social welfare programmes implemented by the previous Worker's Party government. He even went as far as to single out certain individuals by name, and reiterated his "institutional respect" for suspended President Dilma Rousseff.

However, during the speech, which lasted roughly 25 minutes, Temer's respect for the suspended President did not prevent him criticising her management of public affairs. According to him, the country is facing "its worst ever political crisis", and experiencing "a gravely chaotic situation" in the area of health.

Temer also promised to debug the Brazilian political machine. He plans to make cuts to nine Ministries, and also announced that he will be conducting surveys in order to eliminate unnecessary ceremonial roles and commissioned figure head positions, "known to be in the thousands".

Translated by GILLIAN SOPHIE HARRIS

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