Brazilian President Michel Temer has been accused of being involved in corruption. Former culture minister Marcelo Calero alleged that Temer coerced him to help another minister in a personal business deal.
Calero, who stepped down from office last week, added he was put under pressure to allow illegal construction of luxury apartments in a historic district of Salvador, which he had earlier blocked.
Calero said he had stopped construction because the proposed building was on a heritage site. He added that both the president and the minister pressured him to overturn the decision.
The Brazilian president has dismissed the accusations but confessed he had a conversation with Calero regarding the project. According to the government, the former culture minister — also a career diplomat and an outsider to mainstream politics — had misunderstood some of the discussions and was making baseless allegations.
This is the second major corruption allegation against Temer's government since he came to power. However, this time it involves the president himself.
Temer became the 37th president of Brazil on 31 August following the impeachment of ex-president Dilma Rousseff during a political emergency that shook the country. She was accused of manipulating the budget.
Since then, Temer has been trying to gain the people's confidence, but has been plagued by corruption allegations against his own party. Until date, he has lost three of his ministers to a corruption scandal involving government secretary Geddel Vieira Lima, who had bought a property in Salvador in Bahia state.
An investigation into Lima's affairs was opened by an ethics panel recently. However, despite pressure to remove Lima from office, Temer said the minister would keep his post.