President Temer refuses to step down amid corruption chaos

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And remember, a third of his cabinet before this were already under investigation from those vehicle wash investigators that I mentioned.

On Friday, Brazilian President Michel Temer, like the rest of his country, listened to the explosive secret audio recording that directly implicated him in South America's biggest-ever corruption probe.

That image of being above it all has certainly worked in one way for Temer: while much of the rest of the political elite became embroiled in corruption scandals, the president remained remarkably untouched.

The conversation, which was provided to prosecutors as part of a plea bargain with Batista, is now in evidence with the Supreme Court.

Demonstrators carry a sign that reads in Portuguese "Temer in jail" and calls for direct elections in Brasilia on Thursday.

Temer has been in office for just over a year.

Trebat added, "In Brazil, President Temer's reform agenda has broad support in the business community and a solid majority lined up in the Brazilian congress".

Temer has denied any wrongdoing and on Thursday refused to resign.

Following Globo's report, Thursday began in a panic.

It did not say how it obtained the information, or what Mr Cunha was being asked to keep quiet about.

Temer took over past year after the impeachment of president Dilma Rousseff, a political quake to a large extent engineered by the then-powerful Cunha. In Sao Paulo, the nation's largest city, hundreds of protesters gathered on a main avenue to demand Temer go.

If Temer resigns, his term will be completed by the next in line, Rodrigo Maia, speaker of the Lower House, who is facing his own federal graft investigation.

"The country is in a state of shock", Marina Silva, a former environment minister and presidential aspirant, said in a video posted on Facebook. Brazil's political crisis deepened sharply on Thursday with corruption allegations th.

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Since its start three years ago, the "Car Wash" investigation into a kickback scheme at oil giant Petrobras has revealed a scale of corruption that has shocked even the most cynical Brazilians and put several top businessmen and politicians in jail.

Already a Who's Who of the elite has been imprisoned or placed under investigation.

Rousseff was impeached past year after the Senate found her guilty of breaking budgetary laws amid the swirling corruption investigation - though she herself was not accused of corruption.

She was found guilty by Congress of illegally manipulating the government's accounts to mask the depth of a painful recession.

Temer and Cunha are members of the same party and were previously allies.

Despite the whiff of scandal, JBS has been a Brazilian success story. "The question is whether it will be quick and for how long reforms will be delayed", trader Thiago Castellan at Renascença brokerage said.

Ironically, the legislature that now holds Temer's fate in its hands is itself riddled with corruption scandals.

Temer's office has denied the allegations that he endorsed paying off a witness.

On several occasions, Batista mentioned paying bribes to several people, and Temer has never seemed to challenge his statement.

"I did not buy the silence of anyone", Temer said, referring to the allegations made against him.

The first man then says: "You have to keep that up, see?"

Last year, Temer took over as president after the impeachment of Dilma Rousseff in a ruction attributed to the then-powerful Cunha.

The Workers' Party named five other parties in a statement that called for Temer's resignation and snap elections. Should large demonstrations occur, pressure on Temer to step aside would increase significantly. According to recent data released by pollster Datafolha, Temer's popularity rating is less than 9%.