RIO DE JANEIRO— Beleaguered Brazilian President Michel Temer vowed in an article published Sunday to continue governing despite eroding support for his administration.
“As I have said, Brazil has not stopped and won’t stop, despite the political crisis through which, I acknowledge, we are passing,” Temer said in the article, headlined “Development is the path” and carried by regional daily Folha de Sao Paulo.
As demonstrators marched through the Avenue of Ministries in Brasilia last week, “our allies in Congress approved seven provisional measures and voted on the modernization of the labor laws,” said the president, stressing that the protests have failed to disrupt his government.
“That’s maintaining governability and it was no small thing amid the huge tumult orchestrated against Brasilia on Wednesday,” Temer added.
The violent protests, which left 49 people injured and several government offices destroyed and led to seven arrests, prompted Temer to deploy military troops to city streets.
Temer said he was working to leave the next president, who will take office Jan. 1, 2019, a better country than the one he took over at the start of the year, after lawmakers impeached his predecessor, Dilma Rousseff.
“We are going to persevere through this passage. I will not deviate from handing over to my successor, in 2019, a country that is in a better state,” said Temer.
With his popularity below 10 percent and allied political parties distancing themselves from his government, Temer nevertheless pledged to pursue unpopular labor and pension reforms that have been denounced by the opposition and the unions, saying they will foster “an atmosphere of confidence for investment and growth.”
Last week, recordings surfaced of Temer appearing to condone bribing a former lawmaker so the latter, who had been arrested for several counts of corruption and threatened to disclose corruption schemes in the government, would keep silent before federal investigators.
The president denies any wrongdoing, and said the tapes contain “false confessions” by suspects looking to lighten their sentences.