Brazil’s Supreme Electoral Court was to meet Tuesday on whether to invalidate the 2014 presidential election because of illegal campaign funding and to force President Michel Temer to step aside. The court, known as the TSE, could in theory scrap the results of the election, forcing either a snap election or for Congress to pick a new interim leader in Latin America’s biggest country. This would be a bombshell for a country already wallowing in two years of recession and the fallout from the massive “Car Wash” corruption investigation. Analysts say there is little chance of this, however, with Temer likely to keep his seat until regularly scheduled polls at the end of 2018.
The issue dates back to 2014 when Temer was vice president on the winning ticket of leftist Dilma Rousseff’s reelection to the presidency. Last year, Rousseff was removed in an impeachment vote and Temer took over the top job.
Temer and Rousseff are now accused — as are swaths of other politicians caught up in the Car Wash probe — of taking undeclared campaign funds or bribes from corrupt donors. The TSE’s job is to rule on whether the election was fatally compromised.
Both Temer and his former partner on the presidential ticket deny any wrongdoing. Deliberations were to begin Tuesday and end on Thursday.