Brazil's VP says not to drop social programs if taking up presidency

Updated: 2016-04-17 14:20


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RIO DE JANEIRO - Brazilian Vice-President Michel Temer said on Saturday that he would not drop any social program if he replaces Dilma Rousseff as the country's president.

He also accused Rousseff of lying when she said Temer would do away with the Family Grant Program if he became president.

"This is false and a despicable lie. I would keep all the social programs," Temer wrote on his Twitter account.

The program in question provides monthly support to Brazil's poorest families with children in education.

Temer also refuted Rousseff's criticism in a seven-minute-long video. In the video, Rousseff accused Temer of instigating the "coup d'etat" against her and of "tearing the Constitution, spreading intolerance, hate and violence."

"I stand by the unification and pacification of Brazilians, not chaos, hate or war," Temer said. "We will only overcome the crisis if everyone works for Brazil and not for their own personal interests."

Temer also made public his support for Operation Car Wash, an ongoing investigation against a money-laundering scheme that has been suspected of moving billions of U.S. dollars from government-owned oil company Petrobras. More than 60 politicians are thought to be involved, including some from his party, the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB).

"I am a lawyer and I know the fundamental role of the justice system and of the public prosecutor's office so that institutions can progress," wrote Temer.

Temer and the opposition need at least two thirds, or 342 of the total votes on Sunday to take the impeachment against Rousseff to the Senate.

If it clears this hurdle with 41 out of the total 81 senator votes, Rousseff will go on trial and be removed from her position for 180 days. During this time, Temer will take on the role of the president.

Brazil has been troubled by a political scandal that sees President Rousseff's support declining. Rousseff has accused Temer and House Speaker Eduardo Cunha of being the "chief and deputy chief" of a conspiracy to oust her. Both men face their own legal troubles.