Q: Michel Temer was sworn in as Brazil’s president on Aug. 31, replacing ousted President Dilma Rousseff. How will the change in government, which puts Temer in power until 2018, affect Brazil’s struggling energy sector? Will the Temer administration be able to work with Congress and turn the page on Petrobras’ protracted corruption scandal? What energy policy changes are expected to come from a Temer government?
A: Johanna Mendelson Forman, senior advisor with the Managing Across Boundaries Initiative at the Stimson Center: “President Michel Temer’s business-friendly Brazilian Democratic Movement Party may not be enough to help him rebuild the struggling energy sector in Brazil. Caught in a crisis of legitimacy, Temer’s troubles with the Lava Jato legal investigation will not go away just because he was able to rid himself of Rousseff. The investigation has revealed the connections between his party and the Workers’ Party to siphon billions of dollars from Petrobras. Future outcomes in the corruption probe ultimately will not only affect the energy sector, but will also further erode the limited legitimacy that Temer and his government enjoy with ordinary Brazilians.
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