Brazilian President refuses to resign despite corruption allegations

2017-05-18 21:21:05 GMT2017-05-19 05:21:05(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

BRASILIA, May 18 (Xinhua) -- Brazilian President Michel Temer refused to resign on Thursday despite being implicated in corruption allegations.

In an address to the nation on Thursday afternoon, Temer said, "I will not resign, I repeat, I will not resign." He also demanded "a full and very rapid investigation for the...Brazilian people."

Local newspaper reported on Wednesday that a leading meatpacking company chairman had recorded his conversation with Temer and turned the recordings over to the Supreme Court. In the recordings, Temer reportedly endorsed the bribing of former Chamber of Deputies speaker Eduardo Cunha in exchange for Cunha's silence.

"In the Supreme Court, I will show that I had no involvement with these events. I will not resign. I know what I have done and I know the correctness of my actions," the president stressed.

Despite these revelations, Temer stated on Thursday that he did not know the contents of the recording, and added that he had officially asked the Supreme Court for access to these documents.

He concluded by demanding a full and rapid investigation by the Supreme Court. On Thursday, Edson Fachin, the Supreme Court Justice in charge of the Petrobras corruption investigation, ordered a probe into Temer.

Despite this defiant stance, the impact of this political crisis on Brazil was felt immediately.

The Brazilian stock market tumbled by 10 percent overall, and stocks fell sharply for the country's leading companies, such as Petrobras and Banco do Brasil.

After the news broke on Wednesday evening, opponents immediately called for Temer's resignation or impeachment. Meanwhile, thousands of Brazilians turned out in Sao Paulo to demand the president's resignation, shouting "Fora Temer" (Temer Out).

By Thursday afternoon, four different impeachment cases had been filed, three in the Chamber of Deputies and one in the Senate.

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