Michel Temer

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His Excellency
Michel Temer
Michel Temer planalto 3 (cropped).jpg
President of Brazil
Assumed office
12 May 2016
President Dilma Rousseff
24th Vice President of Brazil
Assumed office
1 January 2011
President Dilma Rousseff
Preceded by José Alencar
President of the Chamber of Deputies
In office
2 February 2009 – 17 December 2010
Preceded by Arlindo Chinaglia
Succeeded by Marco Maia
In office
2 February 1997 – 14 February 2001
Preceded by Luís Eduardo Magalhaes
Succeeded by Aécio Neves
President of the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party
In office
9 September 2001 – 5 April 2016
Preceded by Jader Barbalho
Succeeded by Romero Jucá
Personal details
Born Michel Miguel Elias Temer Lulia
(1940-09-23) 23 September 1940 (age 75)
Tietê, Brazil
Political party Brazilian Democratic Movement
Spouse(s) Maria de Toledo (Divorced)
Marcela Tedeschi (2003–present)
Children 6
Alma mater University of São Paulo
Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo
Religion Maronite Catholicism[1]

Michel Miguel Elias Temer Lulia (Portuguese pronunciation: [miˈʃɛw miˈɡɛw eˈliɐs ˈtẽmeɾ luˈliɐ]; born 23 September 1940) is a Brazilian lawyer and politician who has been Vice President of Brazil since January 2011. He took office after standing as the running mate of Workers' Party candidate Dilma Rousseff in the 2010 election.[2]

On 12 May 2016, he assumed the presidential powers and duties as Acting President following the suspension of President Rousseff during her impeachment trial.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Tietê, São Paulo state, Temer is the son of Miguel Elias Temer Lulia and March Barbar Lulia, Maronite Lebanese immigrants who migrated to Brazil in 1925.[2][4] His parents, along with three older siblings, immigrated to Brazil from Btaaboura, in Northern Lebanon, to escape instability due to World War I. In Brazil, his parents had five more children, and Temer is the youngest. Temer does not speak fluent Arabic, but is able to understand the subject of a conversation in that language.[5][6][7] Raised Maronite, an Eastern Catholic sui iuris particular church of the Roman Catholic Church, Temer confirms his affiliation as a Roman Catholic.[1]

Temer holds a Bachelor of Laws degree from the Law Faculty of the University of São Paulo and a doctorate from the Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo. He served as State prosecutor and twice as State Secretary for Public Security, in both capacities working in São Paulo. He is a licensed professor of Constitutional Law at PUC-SP, and has authored numerous books on the subject.


Beginning in 1987 Temer served six consecutive terms in the Chamber of Deputies,[8] and on three separate occasions served two-year terms as President of the Chamber (in 1997–1998, 1999–2000 and 2009–2010).[2] Temer was also a member of the 1988 National Constituent Assembly, which promulgated the current Constitution of Brazil.[2] Politically he rose to become chairman of the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB), the largest party in Brazil.[8]

Temer with Dilma Rousseff in 2010.
Vice President Temer bids farewell to Pope Francis in July 2013.
Temer with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden at the Itamaraty Palace in Brasília, 11 October 2013.

He has five children, including three with his first wife Maria, one resulting from a relationship with a journalist, and one more with current wife Marcela, who is 42 years younger than him and started to date him when she was 17, and he was already 60.

He is the second Vice President of Lebanese origin, after José Maria Alkmin. His family originates from the town of Btaaboura in Koura District, neighboring the city of Tripoli in Northern Lebanon.[9][10]


According to official government documents published by Wikileaks, Temer provided information to the U.S. Embassy in Brazil since 2006.[11] Temer is described as gaining the loyalty of lower class Brazilians by strengthening social programs and being opposed to Lula da Silva.[12] The report has the status "sensitive but unclassified" with Temer stating that Lula da Silva "might finally begin to heed his friends on the left" and would "be led away from the orthodox macro-economic policies that have dominated his first term".[12]

Impeachment process[edit]

Temer's impeachment process[13] began with the performance of judicial decision on April 6, 2016, the President of the Chamber of Deputies, Eduardo Cunha, to form commission for termination analysis of liability for crime offered by attorney Mariel M. Marra. Four other requests for impeachment were presented to Cunha.[14] On May 17, 2016, the Minister Marcos Aurélio allowed the impeachment request to enter the agenda of the Supreme Federal Court plenary session.[15]

Role in the impeachment process against Dilma Rousseff[edit]

In 2015 and 2016, Temer was involved in controversy as Dilma Rousseff's impeachment process unfolds. In December 2015, Temer sent a letter to the president complaining about his distance from government decisions. The letter began with the Latin proverb "Verba Volant, Scripta Manent" (spoken words fly, written words remain). Temer then describes the communication as “personal,” and a means of unburdening himself about various complaints against the president. He said Rousseff has made him look like a “decorative” vice president rather than an active one, despite having been invited to support her government several times in the dialogue with Congress, a role he only accepted in 2015.

The letter has been commented and mocked on Brazilian social media, with images depicting the vice president as a Christmas decoration, making fun of his use of Latin, and photos purporting to show the president laughing while she reads the missive, among many other things. The president’s office had no immediate comment on the images,[16] but Rousseff had condemned him as a traitor to her administration.[17]

Later, in April 2016, an audio file of Temer was leaked to the media. In the file, Temer speaks as if the impeachment process had already been confirmed and he was the new president.[18] “I don’t want to generate false expectations,” Temer said on the recordings, which were first published by Folha de S. Paulo on May 23. “Let’s not think that a possible change in government will solve everything in three or four months.”

The leak came just hours before a special lower house committee was scheduled to vote whether to back the request to impeach the president, generating complaints and accusations of treachery and lack of support from a vice president conspiring against the elected president. Temer alleged it was sent incorrectly to a WhatsApp group of his party's representatives in Congress.

Acting President[edit]

Temer in his first ministerial meeting at the Planalto Palace, 13 May 2016.

In the early hours of 12 May 2016, the Federal Senate voted to accept President Dilma Rousseff's impeachment indictment and, therefore, Vice President Temer assumed the presidential powers and duties as Acting President. In accordance with the rules set by the Brazilian Constitution, Temer will be Acting President for 180 days at the most. During this period, the Senate must decide whether to convict President Rousseff and remove her from office (in which case, Temer would become President for the remainder of the term) or to acquit her of the crimes of responsibility charges (Rousseff would have her presidential powers and duties restored to her). Temer is awaiting a decision from the Supreme Federal Court to start the impeachment process against the Vice President.

Mr. Temer seems to be embracing a more conservative disposition for his government as well, with an exclusively male and white cabinet. [19] and with the country’s business establishment pressuring him to privatize state-controlled companies and cut public spending.[20] In his first speech in office, Temer called for a government of "national salvation" and asked for the trust of the Brazilian people.[21]

Awards and recognition[edit]

Temer has been the recipient of various foreign honors, including:[22][23]

Award or decoration Country Note
DNK Order of Danebrog Grand Cross BAR.png Grand Cross of Dannebrog  Denmark Contribution to the arts, sciences or business life or for those working for Danish interests
PRT Order of Prince Henry - Grand Officer BAR.png Knighthood of the Order of Prince Henry (Grand Officer)  Portugal Exceptional and outstanding merit for Portugal and its culture
Légion d'Honneur  France French highest order of merit.


  1. ^ a b Vilarejo libanês do 'filho Michel Temer' segue igreja ortodoxa grega
  2. ^ a b c d "Presidência da República Federativa do Brasil: Vice-Presidente: Biografia" (in Portuguese). Archived from the original on 9 January 2011. 
  3. ^ "Brazil's Senate Votes to Impeach President Dilma Rousseff". NBC News. 12 May 2016. Retrieved 12 May 2016. 
  4. ^ O Cardeal Temer
  5. ^ Isaura Daniel (25 March 2013). "Os planos de Michel Temer para o mundo árabe". Agência de Notícias Brasil-Árabe. Retrieved 26 April 2016. 
  6. ^ "Conciliador, ‘charmosão’ e ‘mordomo de filme de consternação': afinal, quem é Michel Temer". Entretenimento bit. 30 March 2016. Retrieved 26 April 2016. 
  7. ^ Diogo Bercito (14 June 2015). "Origem de políticos brasileiros, Líbano tem rua com nome de Michel Temer". Folha de S. Paulo. Retrieved 2 May 2016. 
  8. ^ a b Cantanhéde, Eliane (1 November 2010). "Líder do PMDB, Temer terá mais força que vices de FHC e de Lula" [As leader of the PMDB, Temer has more power than the vice presidents of Fernando Henrique Cardoso and Lula]. Folha de S.Paulo (in Portuguese) (São Paulo, Brazil). Archived from the original on 11 May 2016. 
  9. ^ Dyke, Joe (2 July 2014). "The most powerful Lebanese person alive". Executive Magazine. Archived from the original on 11 May 2016. 
  10. ^ Bercito, Diogo (4 May 2015). "Politicians of Lebanese descent flourish in Brazil". The Daily Star (Lebanon). Archived from the original on 5 May 2015. (subscription required (help)). 
  11. ^ Brazil's acting president used to be US intel informant – WikiLeaks. rt.com (13 May 2016)
  12. ^ a b https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/06SAOPAULO689_a.html
  13. ^ Renan Ramalho (5 April 2016). "STF manda Cunha dar andamento a pedido de impeachment de Temer" (in Portuguese). G1. Retrieved 5 April 2016. 
  14. ^ Fernanda Calgaro (5 April 2016). "Cunha rejeita pedido de impeachment de Temer feito por Cid Gomes" (in Portuguese). G1. Retrieved 5 April 2016. 
  15. ^ "Pedido de impeachment de Temer é liberado para entrar na pauta do STF" (in Portuguese). Estado de Minas. 17 May 2016. Retrieved 18 May 2016. 
  16. ^ Trevisani, Paulo; Jelmayer, Rogerio (8 December 2015). "Brazil Vice President Sends Letter Criticizing President Dilma Rousseff". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 17 April 2016. (subscription required (help)). 
  17. ^ Romero, Simon (21 April 2016). "Brazil’s Vice President, Unpopular and Under Scrutiny, Prepares to Lead". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 11 May 2016. 
  18. ^ Edgerton, Anna; Colitt, Raymond (11 April 2016). "Leaked Brazil Tape Shows VP Temer Practicing Unity Address". Bloomberg. Archived from the original on 11 May 2016. 
  19. ^ "Brazil's New President Michel Temer Fills Cabinet With Only White Men". Forbes. 12 May 2016. Retrieved 4 July 2016. 
  20. ^ "New President of Brazil, Michel Temer, Signals More Conservative Shift". NY Times. 12 May 2016. Retrieved 2 June 2016. 
  21. ^ "Brazil impeachment: New leader Temer calls for trust". BBC. 13 May 2016. Retrieved 13 May 2016. 
  22. ^ "Michel Temer" (PDF). Embassy of Brazil in Qatar. Government of Brazil. Retrieved 1 June 2016. 
  23. ^ "A História da Câmara dos Deputados: Michel Temer" [History of the Chamber of Deputies: Michel Temer] (in Portuguese). Brazil: Chamber of Deputies. August 2006. Archived from the original on 11 May 2016. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Luís Eduardo Magalhaes
President of the Chamber of Deputies
Succeeded by
Aécio Neves
Preceded by
Arlindo Chinaglia
President of the Chamber of Deputies
Succeeded by
Marco Maia
Preceded by
José Alencar
Vice President of Brazil
Acting President
Party political offices
Preceded by
Jader Barbalho
President of the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party
Succeeded by
Romero Jucá