Brazil's VP holding fort for unpopular Rousseff
By Anthony Boadle
BRASILIA Aug 11 (Reuters) - Vice President Michel Temer is increasingly seen as the man who could lead Brazil out of political crisis if President Dilma Rousseff is forced from office, but people who know him say he will do all he can to see her serve out her term.
Even members of Temer's PMDB party who want Rousseff to step down say Temer, a seasoned politician and discreet, soft-spoken constitutional law expert, will hold the fort for Rousseff as long as long as he can.
They doubt, though, that he can do much to save her if the current pro-impeachment drumbeat results in a trial in Congress.
"He is anguished. He wants the best for the country, but he constantly repeats that he respects the constitution and will use all his strength to help her finish her term," PMDB lawmaker Darcisio Perondi, a friend of Temer's, said in an interview.
Opinion polls show seven out of 10 Brazilians want to see Rousseff impeached for running Latin America's largest economy into the ground and not preventing a massive corruption scandal at state-run oil company Petrobras.
With no evidence that she benefited from the bribery scheme, or even knew of it, her opponents may have a better chance of impeaching Rousseff for allegedly doctoring government accounts last year to allow more state spending in the run-up to her re-election.
Her fiercest adversaries are waiting for an audit court ruling as grounds for impeachment. They would need two thirds of the votes in the Chamber of Deputies to begin proceedings.
Support has clearly grown in recent weeks but it is not clear whether there are enough votes for an impeachment trial, which would be held in the Senate and require another two-thirds majority to vote Rousseff out of office. Continuación...