Michel Temer, in full Michel Miguel Elias Temer Lulia (born September 23, 1940, Tietê, São Paulo, Brazil), Brazilian politician who became president of Brazil in August 2016 after the Senate ousted Dilma Rousseff in an impeachment vote.
He was the eighth and youngest son of Lebanese immigrants who had arrived in Brazil in 1925. Temer studied law at the University of São Paulo and the Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo, earning a doctorate from the latter institution, where he later served as a constitutional law professor. In 1964 Temer joined the staff of the Department of Education of São Paulo state, and in 1970 he became state prosecutor. In 1983 he was named the state’s attorney general. The following year he became São Paulo’s secretary of public safety.
Having joined the centre-right Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (Partido do Movimento Democrático Brasileiro; PMDB), in 1986 Temer became a member of the National Constituent Assembly that drafted a new constitution for the country in 1987. He was elected in 1987 to the first of six terms in the federal Chamber of Deputies and served as its speaker three times (1997–99, 1999–2001, 2009–10). During his tenure in the Chamber of Deputies, he took a leave of absence to once again oversee the São Paulo Department of Public Safety. In 2001 he was elected president of the PMDB National Committee.
Labeled as the most influential congressman of 2009, according to the Inter-Union Parliamentary Advisory Department (Departamento Intersindical de Assessoria Parlamentar; DIAP), Temer went from serving his third term as speaker of the Chamber of Deputies and fifth as the head of the PMDB to assuming the country’s vice presidency when Dilma Rousseff, from the Workers’ Party (Partido dos Trabalhadores; PT), became Brazil’s first female president, in 2011. Temer was again Rousseff’s running mate when she was reelected four years later. Despite holding these high-level positions, Temer kept a relatively low profile and was arguably best known for his marriage (his third) in 2003 to a former model and beauty queen nearly 43 years younger than him.
In 2015 the alliance with the PMDB that had been forged by Rousseff’s mentor, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (“Lula”), began to crumble. That December, against the backdrop of the largest political scandal in the country’s history—the Petrobras scandal, in which members of both the Workers’ Party and the PMDB were implicated—Temer sent a letter to Rousseff complaining that his role in her government had been marginalized. Meanwhile, momentum was building in the movement to impeach Rousseff for allegedly having manipulated government finances to disguise budget deficits in the run-up to her reelection. In March 2016 the alliance collapsed when the PMDB decided to cut its ties with the increasingly vulnerable Rousseff and left the governing coalition. Rousseff argued that she was the victim of an attempted coup and accused Temer of leading a conspiracy against her. In April a leaked audiotape revealed Temer practicing a speech as if he were the president
As a consequence of the Senate’s decision on May 12, 2016, to launch impeachment proceedings, Rousseff was suspended and Temer became acting president. When the Senate found Rousseff guilty on August 31 and removed her from office permanently, “acting” was dropped from Temer’s title as president, and he stood to complete Rousseff’s term, which was to last until January 2019. Although Temer’s name had been invoked in the Petrobras scandal, no charges had been made against him.