On Sunday, April 17, right after the lower house of Congress voted to impeach President Dilma Rousseff, I wrote that the Workers' Party was over.
That doesn't mean, however, that Vice President Michel Temer will become the next president.
The automatic rise of Michel Temer to power, thanks to the collapse of Dilma's government, doesn't solve the political and ethical crisis that Brazil currently faces. On the contrary, this supposed solution may fan the flames. There is already tension between the Workers' Party (PT) and the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB), since the PMDB left Dilma's government coalition.
If the senate approves the impeachment on May 11, the president will be removed from office and Temer will temporarily assume the role.
During a 180-day suspension period, Dilma, Lula and their supporters will plan their offensive on Temer, to stop him from spending too long in office.
Below are 10 reasons why Temer won't actually become the next president of Brazil:
1. The PMDB is deeply involved in the Petrobras scandal.Brazilians took to the streets to protest agains the government, Dilma, Lula and the PT, but their primary concern has been corruption. Michel Temer's party is deeply involved in the corruption scandal at the state-owned oil company Petrobras.
2. The current political crisis involves the PMDB as well as the PT.Dilma wasn't really politically savvy, and couldn't build a minimum base of support in her second term. The elected government was formed by the PT and PMDB. Although the PMDB controlled several ministries, Temer's party demanded more and more space in the executive branch of government. Lower house speaker Eduardo Cunha (PMDB-RJ) did his best to interfere with Dilma's management. Six months after the inauguration ceremony, Cunha had already split from Dilma's coalition, hindering the progress of government projects.
3. Eduardo Cunha and Michel Temer are friends. Rejected by three out of four Brazilians, Cunha is an old ally of the vice president. When people on the streets are condemning corruption, it looks really bad for a new president to be associated with a politician who is a defendant in the Supreme Court. The Federal Public Prosecutor's Office has accused Cunha of receiving $5 million from Julio Camargo as a bribe, in exchange for facilitating a contract with Petrobras without a bidding process. The Supreme Court unanimously accepted the accusation.
4. There is an impeachment request against Temer filed with the lower house of Congress and backed by a Supreme Court minister. According to the lawyer Mariel Marley Marra, who filed an impeachment request against the vice president, Michel Temer committed a crime similar to Dilma's when he signed decrees allowing extra credit without the authorization of Congress. At the beginning of April, the Supreme Court minister Marco Aurélio Mello accepted the request and asked Cunha to form a committee to look into the case. The party leaders must now assign members to this committee. The senators have even demanded a joint process to judge the impeachment of both Dilma and Temer.
5. Almost 60 percent of Brazilians want Temer impeached. Most Brazilians have unfavorable views of Dilma and Temer. According to a recent Datafolha poll, 61 percent of Brazilians support the impeachment of the president, and 58 percent want the vice president out. The percentage of people supporting the resignation of Dilma and Temer is the same: 60 percent. It is clear that the vice president doesn't have significant popular support.
6. The Dilma/Temer ticket is under threat at the Supreme Electoral Court.Last week, the process to invalidate the Dilma/Temer ticket advanced in the Electoral Court. The request, filed by the PSDB (the largest opposition party) at the Supreme Electoral Court (TSE), accuses the candidates of misusing their economic and political power during the 2014 elections, and of allegedly repurposing money from the corruption scheme at Petrobras. Aware of the risk of having his ticket invalidated, Temer has already asked the TSE to separate his accounts from Dilma's.
7. The coalition model no longer works.The breakup of the PMDB, PP, PSD and PT coalition makes it clear that this government model is in crisis. This multi-party coalition allowed Dilma a total of 11 minutes of TV time during the 2014 campaign. The disparity between the campaign ads broadcast two years ago and what the executive branch actually achieved undermines the legitimacy of the electoral process, and consequently, of the once triumphant Dilma/Temer ticket.
8. There is a growing movement calling for new elections. The results of an Ibope poll, published Monday, April 25, show that only 8 percent of Brazilians consider Dilma's impeachment and her replacement by Temer to be "the best way to overcome the political crisis." Meanwhile, 62 percent of respondents said that they believe that new elections would be the best way out of the current political crisis. This initiative has already been supported by a group of senators, by former presidential candidates Marina Silva, Luciana Genro, and by members of the government.
9. The PT and social movements won't stay silent. A Temer government would be the target of plenty of criticism by the PT and social movements that have so far been supportive of Dilma. Members and supporters of the Workers' Party have promised to strongly oppose a government that they consider illegitimate -- one that rose to power through a "coup." The Landless Workers Movement has proposed a general strike if the impeachment is approved. Lula has said that Brazil will go through moments of "democratic struggle."
10. Temer may be accused of being a "conspirator" and "coup organizer."In trying to defend herself against impeachment, Dilma has attacked both Cunha and Temer. She has already accused the vice president of being a conspirator and of organizing a coup. The leaked WhatsApp "victory audio" only reinforces the PT's position that Temer is working behind the scenes to remove Dilma from office. To associate the image of a "traitor" with the vice president is not a difficult task for PT's propaganda machinery. Thus, disapproval of Temer is likely to grow.
This post first appeared on HuffPost Brazil. It has been translated into English and edited for clarity.