On 5 December Brazil’s supreme court (STF) suspended Renan Calheiros from his position as president of the federal senate pending the resolution of the corruption charges levelled against him.
Significance: The decision represents another significant political crisis for President Michel Temer. The senate is due to cast its final vote on the government’s ‘austerity bill’
on 13 December, but Calheiros’s suspension puts a question mark over whether that will now take place. Eurasia Group puts the chances of the vote going ahead at 50/50. Delays to the passage of the bill that seeks to place caps on federal government spending could allow public opposition to swell, complicating its approval at a later date. Calheiros’s temporary replacement is Jorge Vianna, a senator from the left-wing opposition Partido dos Trabalhadores (PT) party, who has been vocal in his opposition to the government’s austerity measures.