Brazil’s interim President Michel Temer said Friday he may remain in office till 2019.
Temer took over the presidency Thursday from Brazil’s first female President Dilma Rousseff, who was suspended from office for 180 days over an impeachment trial, Xinhua news agency reported.
If Rousseff is found innocent of a fiscal cover-up, an accusation she has denied, she will return to power in no more than six months.
But in Temer’s first interview as acting president with the weekly news magazine “Epoca” on Friday, he spoke as if Rousseff’s conviction was a foregone conclusion.
“With everyone’s help, I want to put the country back on track in the next two years and seven months,” Temer told the weekly, suggesting his plan to remain in office for a long run.
However, Temer did not dismiss the possibility of Rousseff returning.
He told the weekly that he stopped his new cabinet members from taking down paintings of Rousseff in the government office.
“She has been suspended, but she continues to be president. Until she leaves definitively, which should be the Senate’s decision, her rights as suspended president must be assured,” Temer said.
Rousseff, who is charged with being “criminally responsible” for her administration’s alleged cover-up of public deficits in 2014 and 2015 in an attempt to get re-elected, claimed that the charge is unfounded, and her political rivals are using it as an excuse to seize power.
She called on Temer’s interim government “illegitimate” and warned of its long-term consequences.
She criticised Temer’s new cabinet for failing to reflect Brazil’s cultural melting pot or give women a voice, and being positioned to be “extremely conservative” in social and cultural matters.