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Pressure Grows on Brazil's Temer to Veto Judges Salary Increases

Pressure Grows on Brazil's Temer to Veto Judges Salary Increases

Michel Temer

Photographer: Andre Coelho /Bloomberg
Photographer: Andre Coelho /Bloomberg

A petition asking Brazil’s president to veto salary hikes for the nation’s Supreme Court judges has attracted over a million signatures less than 24 hours after its launch.

On Wednesday night the Senate approved a 16 percent pay rise for the country’s top judges, only hours after president-elect Jair Bolsonaro said that now was not the time for an increase. With many other civil servants’ pay-checks linked to Supreme Court salaries, the total annual cost of the hike will be at least R$5.3 billion ($1.4bn), according to the website Congresso em Foco.

The Partido Novo, a new political party that advocates downsizing the Brazilian state, launched the petition shortly after the Senate voted through the bill. The lower house had previously approved the pay increase. President Michel Temer, however, still has to sign the bill into law. Federal lawmakers, dozens of whom are under investigation for criminal offenses, can only be tried by the Supreme Court.

By 5.20 pm Brasilia time on Thursday, the petition had close to 1.3 million signatures.