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Brazil’s president has moved out of his official residence in the capital, Brasilia, because of “bad energy” and the presence of ghosts.

Michel Temer, 76, and his 33-year-old wife Marcela, a former beauty queen, have decamped from the modernist palace and moved into a smaller residence, normally occupied by Brazil’s vice-president.

He said he and his wife did not like the atmosphere of the Alvorada Palace, which was designed by the country’s most famous architect, Oscar Niemeyer.

The futuristic-looking building is located on a peninsula jutting out into a lake and was built in the late 1950s.

The sprawling residence boasts a huge swimming pool, a chapel, cinema and heliport. Only their seven-year-old son, Michelzinho, felt comfortable in the sprawling property, the president said.

“I felt something strange there. I wasn’t able to sleep right from the first night. The energy wasn’t good,” Mr Temer told Veja, a news weekly.  “Marcela felt the same thing. Only Michelzinho, who went running from one end to the other, liked it.”

“We even started to wonder: could there be ghosts?” he told the magazine. His wife reportedly called in a priest to drive out any evil spirits in the residence, without success.

So the family moved to the smaller Jaburu Palace, which was empty because no one replaced Mr Temer when he was elevated from the vice-presidency to the presidency after former president Dilma Rousseff was impeached last year for breaking budget accounting laws.

Mr Temer is fighting for his political survival as a result of an investigation into alleged illegal campaign financing. He is accused of having benefited from illegal donations when he and Mrs Rousseff ran together in 2014.

 The result of the 2014 election could be annulled if he is found guilty by federal judges.

Brazil’s largest engineering firm is accused of making illegal donations to Mr Temer and his forming running mate. His popularity among ordinary Brazilians has dropped amid a grinding recession.