Temer government would press ahead with Brazil corruption fight: document

© Reuters. Brazil's Vice President Michel Temer is seen after a meeting with Brazilian Senate Renan Calheiros and Opposition Senator Aecio Neves of the Brazilian Social Democracy Party in Brasilia© Reuters. Brazil’s Vice President Michel Temer is seen after a meeting with Brazilian Senate Renan Calheiros and Opposition Senator Aecio Neves of the Brazilian Social Democracy Party in Brasilia

BRASILIA (Reuters) – A government led by Brazilian Vice President Michel Temer would press ahead with the country’s corruption fight by strengthening anti-graft institutions and enacting tougher controls over state-run companies, according to a document seen by Reuters.

The 17-page document serves as a blueprint for policies on health, education and social issues under a future Temer government and is expected to be released next week.

Temer could be leading Brazil in a matter of weeks if, as expected, the Senate suspends President Dilma Rousseff for allegedly breaking budget laws.

The soft-spoken, 75-year-old constitutional lawyer is assembling his possible cabinet and mapping strategy with a small group of advisers.

His critics have said Temer would try to hamper Brazil’s biggest ever corruption probe, known as Operation Car Wash, which has involved many politicians from his Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB).

The investigation has unveiled a massive corruption scheme at state oil company Petrobras in which construction companies bribed politicians and executives to get lucrative deals. Temer himself is not under investigation.

In the document seen by Reuters, the PMDB calls for guarantees of increased funding for the federal police, which is one of the institutions leading the Car Wash investigation.

The document also calls for the government to grant more powers of oversight to the national comptroller’s office and legislation to impose tougher penalties for corrupt executives at state-run companies.

Infrastructure projects would be left in the hands of private companies under the new government, with measures ensuring enhanced scrutiny of major projects, the document says.

Temer’s aides have said his government would step up concessions for private sector companies for infrastructure, urban transportation, basic sanitation and housing projects.

Rousseff, a leftist just over a year into her second term, has accused Temer of conspiring to oust her in a bloodless “coup.”

The lower house this month recommended that the Senate put Rousseff on trial for breaking budget laws by using loans from state banks to boost public spending to aide her 2014 re-election campaign.

The leftist leader, whose approval levels are at record lows as the economy suffers its worst recession in decades, is preparing to announce a series of populist measures ahead of the Senate suspension vote, scheduled for May 11.

On Friday, Rousseff announced the extension of a controversial program that hires Cuban doctors to work in poor regions of Brazil.

Her government is also considering raising the budget of a popular cash-transfer program called Bolsa Familia, government sources told Reuters.

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