New Brazilian leader Michel Temer vows to heal nation after impeachment drama

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 01 September, 2016, 2:42pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 01 September, 2016, 10:07pm

Brazil’s new leader Michel Temer began his presidency in earnest Thursday vowing to heal the crisis-stricken Latin American giant after senators fired his defiant rival Dilma Rousseff in an emotional impeachment trial.

Temer, 75, was sworn in shortly after a majority of senators voted Wednesday in a highly charged session to remove the leftist Rousseff, 68, on grounds that she illegally manipulated the state budget.

Rousseff’s successor shrugged off her claims that he had led a “coup” to seize power from her Workers’ Party government, which has ruled Brazil for 13 years.

Sworn in to serve out the remainder of Rousseff’s four-year presidential term up to the end of 2018, Temer vowed to create jobs in the recession-stricken country and guarantee “political stability” to lure investors.

“My only interest is in handing over to my successor a country that is reconciled, pacified and growing economically,” he said in a pre-recorded television address, aired as he headed off to China for a G20 summit.

Temer defended government reforms of labour laws and the social security system.

“In order to ensure the pension payments, we must reform the social security system. Without the reform, in a few years the government will be unable to pay the retired citizens’ pensions,” he said.

“Our goal is to ensure a system in which pensions are paid on the right day, without defaults and tricks ... a system which protects the elder without punishing the young,” he added.

Additional reporting by Xinhua