By Maria Paz Salas
SANTIAGO, CHILE (AA) – Brazil's interim president doesn’t intend to stand for elections in 2018 but he said in an interview broadcast Monday that things could suddenly change.
“I do not need to perform an act that could lead to a possible reelection. I can even be unpopular, if it produces benefits for the country,” Michel Temer told the Globo group.
Temer assumed the presidency last Thursday, replacing Dilma Rousseff, who was removed from office for 180 days as she faces a political trial that could end her administration. She is accused of manipulating budgets to mask deficits in the run up to the 2014 presidential elections. Temer is also under investigation in a separate case.
The Temer interview was part of a television broadcast on Saturday that led to demonstrations in Río de Janeiro, San Pablo, Salvador de Bahía and Porto Alegre, against the new government.
In the portion aired Monday, the interim President also once again emphasized that if his position as president is extended for more than the two years, he would try to “unify” the country.
“The unification of the country signifies the unity of the political parties and of the employers with the workers; a joint effort of Brazilian society so we could emerge from the crisis in which we find ourselves”, he said.
Temer also addressed criticisms for appointing a new Cabinet without a black or female representative and, stated his intention to nominate at least four female leaders in the future.
“One of the most important positions of the Presidency of the Republic is the chief of staff, who has been held by a woman”, he said, referring to the newly named Nara Vieira de Deus.
The list of the new 23 ministers – down from 32 in Rousseff’s Cabinet -- include three politicians who are being investigated by the Supreme Court for their alleged involvement in a massive corruption probe at state-run oil giant Petrobras.
A number of regional leaders, including the presidents of Bolivia, Cuba and Paraguay have come out in support of Rousseff following her dismissal.
El Salvador said it would not recognize the new government in Brazil and Venezuela recalled its ambassador to the country.
The head of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, has urged "calm and dialogue,” according to his spokesman, following the Senate vote that removed Rousseff.