Presidential ambitions put stress on Brazil’s new government

A pledge by Brazil’s new President Michel Temer not to run in the 2018 election enticed political rivals to back his coalition but pressure from his party might lead him to break the promise, jeopardizing the support he needs to push through reforms.

Temer needs the backing of a fragile coalition of 21 parties in Congress to pass a raft of legislation aimed at dragging Brazil from a budgetary crisis and ending its worst recession since the Great Depression.

First and foremost is a constitutional cap on spending that Temer aims to push through this year.

The 75-year-old conservative lawyer, who was sworn in last week to finish the term of impeached leftist Dilma Rousseff, is also targeting an overhaul of Brazil’s costly pension system and labor laws to restore economic competitiveness.

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