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Brazilian President Michel Temer: The Most Powerful Lebanese Man in the World

posted on: Aug 31, 2016

Brazil’s President, Michel Temer. Image Credit: Reuters

BY: Nisreen Eadeh/Staff Writer

Michel Temer was sworn in as Brazil’s president today, following the impeachment trial of Dilma Rousseff.

Temer became Brazil’s interim president in May when the country’s Senate brought charges against President Dilma Rousseff for mishandling government funds. Today, 61 of 81 Senators voted Rousseff guilty of the accusations in the trial, and Temer, her vice president, officially took her seat.

The 75-year-old law professor served six terms in Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies before becoming vice president. He is the youngest son of Lebanese immigrants who moved to South America in the 1920s. Today, upwards of 10 million Lebanese people live in Brazil, making it the largest Lebanese population in the world.

Temer will hold this office until 2018 when the new presidential elections take place. During his interim presidency, he was far more conservative than Rousseff who ran on a liberal agenda. Already, Temer has been criticized for filling his cabinet with all white men, as well as his plans to cut government spending on social programs and privatize state-held companies. The new president is protested often for his fiscally and socially conservative policies.

The former lawmaker has gained a reputation as a “kickback” official, too. Although he is not under direct investigation, many Brazilians have accused Temer of using kickback schemes in the state-run oil industry. Furthermore, after he was found guilty of violating election laws, where he spent too much of his personal money in his office, Temer was banned from running for office for eight years.

Rousseff named Temer the chief mastermind behind the coup that got her impeached from office, and unfortunately for Temer, many Brazilians agree with the disgraced president.

But regardless of Temer’s popularity, Brazil will be under his control for the next two years. Until Lebanon elects its next president, Temer will be holding the title as the most powerful Lebanese person alive.