Brazil's Temer: Poetry, quiet power, restrained calculator

viernes 1 de abril de 2016 14:34 GYT

By Brad Brooks

RIO DE JANEIRO, April 1 (Reuters) - His manners and dress are so impeccable that the man who may soon be Brazil's next president is quietly known by political allies and enemies alike as "The Butler."

Yet Vice President Michel Temer, a respected constitutional scholar who would step into the presidency should President Dilma Rousseff be impeached in coming weeks, is not quite what you might expect.

Married to a former beauty pageant contestant 43 years his junior who has his name tattooed on her neck, Temer has also released a book of poetry titled "Anonymous Intimacy."

Its terse verse was penned on airplane napkins while he traveled from the capital Brasilia to his base in Sao Paulo. It includes praise for the female form and oblique allusions to Brazil's polarized politics, which some hope he can ease with his consensus-building manner.

It is by no means guaranteed that Rousseff will be impeached on accusations of accounting irregularities in the government budget. But the chances of that sharply increased when Temer's Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB) broke with the ruling coalition this week.

The impeachment push has gained force from widespread public anger over near-daily revelations of graft in Brazil's biggest-ever corruption investigation involving kickback schemes at state-run oil company Petrobras.

Rousseff is not facing charges despite serving as chairwoman of Petrobras for several years as the schemes played out and testimony from state witnesses that she knew about the graft. Temer also faces no charges, although he has been accused by a senator turned state's witness of having a hand in shady Petrobras ethanol deals.

Both leaders deny any wrongdoing.   Continuación...