MercoPress, en Español

Montevideo, November 21st 2018 - 00:03 UTC

Rousseff's impeachment chances dying out as main ally is strongly divided on the issue

Wednesday, January 20th 2016 - 08:06 UTC
Full article 3 comments
“The momentum for impeachment has lost force, yes, due to the brutal interference of the Supreme Court in a legislative matter,” said PMDB Darcisio Perondi “The momentum for impeachment has lost force, yes, due to the brutal interference of the Supreme Court in a legislative matter,” said PMDB Darcisio Perondi
Popular frustration with Rousseff has been fuelled by the brutal contraction in Latin America's largest economy and massive corruption at state companies. Popular frustration with Rousseff has been fuelled by the brutal contraction in Latin America's largest economy and massive corruption at state companies.

President Dilma Rousseff’s opponents in the fractious Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB) are losing hope that they can impeach the leader and replace her with their man, Vice-President Michel Temer.

 A Supreme Court ruling last month that expanded the authority of the Senate, where she has a more solid backing, and reduced the clout of Lower House speaker Eduardo Cunha, her arch rival who triggered the impeachment process, has weakened the bid by opposition parties to unseat Rousseff.

The president’s critics accuse her of manipulating government accounts to boost public spending during her 2014 re-election campaign. But in recent weeks, a growing consensus has emerged in Brazil’s political establishment that the evidence against Rousseff is too flimsy to justify impeachment proceedings. Her government is confident it has more than the one third of votes she needs in each chamber to block impeachment.

“The momentum for impeachment has lost force, yes, due to the brutal interference of the Supreme Court in a legislative matter,” said Darcisio Perondi, a PMDB congressman, who believes Rousseff must be ousted if Brazil is to recover from its worst recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Rousseff’s fiercest critics inside the PMDB are now focusing their efforts on a party convention in March, where they will push to leave the ruling coalition. They hope that will bring her government down just over a year into her second term.

Popular frustration with Rousseff has been fuelled by the brutal contraction in Latin America's largest economy and a massive corruption scandal at state-run companies.

But, while Rousseff’s approval ratings are near record lows, anti-government demonstrations since the start of impeachment proceedings last month have so far failed to match the scale of protests in 2013 and early last year, that drew hundreds of thousands onto the streets.

Perondi said the fight is now on to break with the Rousseff administration at the convention in the first half of March.

“If we stay, we will be telling the country we do not want change and we will go down with Rousseff’s Workers’ Party (PT) that will be badly defeated in municipal elections in October,” he said.

The PMDB, which controls both chambers of Congress, has six Cabinet ministries plus the vice-presidency and party barons are split over whether to relinquish power so far ahead of the 2018 presidential race when it plans to field its own candidate.

The Supreme Court ruling in December was a big setback for Cunha, who is fighting for his own political life in the face of charges that he received kickbacks in the graft scandal surrounding state-run oil company Petrobras and had a number of secret accounts in a Swiss bank.

In Brasilia’s Planalto presidential palace, there is a palpable sense of relief that the threat of impeachment has subsided, though Rousseff aides say they are not letting down their guard.

“The impeachment has lost steam for sure,” a PMDB minister in Rousseff’s Cabinet said. “It became clear to Brazilians that you need a crime to start the process, and there is no crime.”

Last year, Temer was presenting himself as the man to pull Brazil out of crisis if Rousseff was impeached. Now he is more concerned with surviving as the PMDB’s leader at the convention in March, where members who favour quitting the government will try to replace him. A survey by Arko Advice consultancy found that Temer is likely to prevail.

“We’ve never enjoyed the full support of the PMDB,” said a Rousseff aide. “Yet we are confident they will continue to be part of the government for now and back the president so she can serve out her term.”

Categories: Politics, Brazil.

Top Comments

Disclaimer & comment rules
  • GeoffWard2

    I spent years understanding the Brasilian press and Veja, the corruption and the crime, and the way that LULA's extended family have all become millionaires (and more).

    I gave Dilma the opportunity (in letters pages etc) to do what was necessary to address the marine oil extraction industry and its legislation into a better framework.
    LULA tied a Gordian knot into the oil and financial industries, using 'smoke and mirrors' legislation to siphon off vast tranches of the government's cash.

    Huge Governor's mansions in the various Brasilian states blossomed and for years the Amazon forests were cut and burned down in lands the size of countries.
    LULA'S cattle ranches continuously expanded
    ... and all the time LULA said “I know nothing, I know nothing”

    I know that FIFA is not a country, and the FBI cannot incarcerate LULA 'like a commoner', but oh, I would like to see the 'FBI' put their massed resources to work putting LULA and Dilma behind bars for life, sequestering all the assets that these two and their ilk have thieved over the decades.

    I would like to shake them up until their teeth rattle, and a lot more besides!

    Jan 20th, 2016 - 11:45 am 0
  • yankeeboy

    The opposition should think strategically and let Dilma go down with the sinking ship. There's plenty of time to indict everyone when they get back in power. The corruption is endemic. There's plenty of evidence to go around.

    The Repubs could have pressed for Odumbo's impeachment many times over various issues, better they did nothing and let all his ideals collapse with him, thereby taking most State Gov houses, Most State Governors, the House and Senate back. Now they just have one more election to win as Hillary aligns herself with the failed administration to get the blacks to come out and vote. Her campaign is collapsing even without the coming indictment.

    Jan 20th, 2016 - 11:57 am 0
  • Jack Bauer

    @1 Geoff
    Agree 100% .

    But getting back to the chances of impeaching the fat cow, unless the Federal Police manage to present a clear, undeniable link between the corruption in PB and her campaign funds (which we all know exists), it is unlikely that the present accusations will get her out. The only positive aspect to all this, is the possibility of the PMDB, trying to distance itself from the sinking ship, will actually leave the Government coalition. This will weaken Dilma and the PT to a point where her government will just collapse. The fact is that until she is pushed out, Brazil will carry on going down the toilet.

    Jan 20th, 2016 - 02:26 pm 0
Read all comments

Commenting for this story is now closed.
If you have a Facebook account, become a fan and comment on our Facebook Page!