(MENAFN- Gulf Times) Brazil's Congress has rejected corruption charges against President Michel Temer, meaning that he will not have to face trial and is free to pursue austerity reforms in Latin America's biggest economy.
The vote in the lower house threw out the charges just an hour after Temer, 77, was discharged from the Brasilia hospital where he had been admitted earlier with a blocked urinary tract.
Temer's allies had been widely expected to bar a demand by prosecutors for the president to face trial in the Supreme Court, but a note of drama was injected by the surprise news that he had been taken to hospital.
The president was admitted to the Army Hospital in the capital complaining of discomfort and underwent examination with a urinary catheter.
He was then told to rest at home, the presidency said.
Following the medical scare, Temer said that 'I am in one piece, although he could have said the same thing about his escape from a potential trial.
The first president in the country to face criminal charges while still in office, Temer is accused of obstruction of justice and racketeering.
He denies any wrongdoing.
The lower house of Congress would have had to vote by a two-thirds majority to force Temer to stand down for 180 days and go on trial in the Supreme Court.
However allies racked up a total of 251 votes, well above what was needed to prevent opponents reaching a super-majority.
A canny veteran of Brasilia's notoriously corrupt political scene, Temer has painted himself as indispensable when the country is making a cautious recovery from a deep recession.
In August, allies in Congress had already thrown out a bribery charge by a heavy margin.
'Those who underestimated him made a mistake, said loyalist legislator Carlos Marun, from Temer's PMDB party.
Ironically, what made it easier for Temer was that scores of those judging him in the lower house are themselves targets of anti-corruption probes.
Many deputies want to slow down Brazil's energetic anti-corruption prosecutors who have unleashed the historic 'Car Wash probe against the country's elite over the last three years.
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