The Americas

With Brazil's Temer on the chopping block, here are his possible replacements

Thousands of protesters called for Brazilian President Michel Temer's ouster on Wednesday, enraged by an audio recording emerged last week that appears to capture him endorsing hush money for a convicted former lawmaker.

The president is resisting calls to resign and has said he will fight the accusations, but as more of his closest advisers and allies got arrested this week in a wide-ranging corruption investigation, the likelihood of Temer finishing his term is shrinking by the day.

If Temer resigns, the Constitution says that Congress would vote to elect the next president, who would hold power through the end of 2018. But many Brazilians, disgusted with the political class, want to vote themselves.

These are the names that are being named:

CARMEN LUCIA

Supreme Court Chief Justice Carmen Lucia is on top of the list. Brazil's judiciary appears stronger than ever after scores of corrupted politicians have been arrested and jailed in corruption probes over the past three years. Many observers believe that picking 63-year-old Lucia — a career lawyer with no political affiliation — would pacify Brazilians who are furious with the political class after years of scandals.

Related News

HENRIQUE MEIRELLES

The 71-year-old finance minister is seen as the man most likely to carry on with Temer's austerity measures and proposed pension and labor laws reforms. Those are unpopular among most Brazilians, though most economists say they're needed to revive the economy. Meirelles also served as central bank governor under former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Before that, he spent much of his career in the private sector.

NELSON JOBIM

While Jobim, 71, is a member of Temer's Brazilian Democractic Movement Party and has the broadest connections of the hopefuls. He was a minister under former Presidents Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff and also served as chief justice of the Supreme Court. As defense minister, he built close ties with Brazil's armed forces. However, he hasn't held elected office in decades. His professorial style is also seen as a liability at a moment when many believe Brazil needs a leader who can connect with people.

The AP contributed to this report.