MercoPress, en Español

Montevideo, November 15th 2018 - 04:11 UTC

Brazil's Lower House votes on Rousseff's impeachment next Sunday

Tuesday, April 12th 2016 - 07:15 UTC
Full article 6 comments
The special committee voted 38 to 27 in favour of accepting impeachment charges against president Dilma Rousseff The special committee voted 38 to 27 in favour of accepting impeachment charges against president Dilma Rousseff
“There is no political support base, there is no credibility, no one believes in this government anymore” said Jovair Arantes, impeachment rapporteur “There is no political support base, there is no credibility, no one believes in this government anymore” said Jovair Arantes, impeachment rapporteur

A commission considering impeachment charges against Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff voted on Monday 38 to 27 in favour of accepting them, which sends the question to the full lower house of Congress for a vote most probably next Sunday. The decision deals a blow to the beleaguered Brazilian president and complicates the country’s political situation.

 But it wasn’t as dire an outcome for Rousseff and her Workers’ Party as some had predicted, and if the full vote follows roughly the same lines, the pro-impeachment forces might not have the two-thirds support (342) they need to force her from the job.

“The game is still being played,” said Fernando Limongi, a professor of political science at the State University of Sao Paulo. “It will be decided by little things – in the last moments.”

The full vote is expected to be held on April 17. The government will frantically try to win over the pool of about 35 undecided Congress members in the interim. Six days, in present day Brazil, is a very long time – but, Prof. Limongi said, all things considered, Rousseff’s survival “doesn’t look good.”

As voting began on Monday night, Congress members on both sides jeered and booed. “There is no political support base, there is no credibility, no one believes in this government anymore,” Jovair Arantes, rapporteur of the impeachment commission, said, insisting the president must go.

“This government doesn’t know how to dialogue; it’s an arrogant and authoritarian government that doesn’t accept divergent opinions.”

Opponents of the impeachment chanted, “Impeachment without a crime is a coup!”

The real soared to its highest value to the U.S. dollar in eight months as Congress members acrimoniously debated the charges throughout the day before the vote.

If the Chamber of Deputies, passes the impeachment motion, Rousseff could appeal to the Supreme Court. If she does not, the Senate must vote by simple majority to accept the case – which it almost certainly will, in a matter of days – at which point Rousseff must step aside for 180 days while the issue is “tried” by the Senate. The impeachment must pass there as well, by a two-thirds majority.

During the 180 days, Dilma Rousseff would, in theory, be succeeded by her Vice-President, Michel Temer, who is from the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party, which was her ally until two weeks ago.

Temer added to the drama in Brasilia on Monday, when he “accidentally” leaked an audio recording of a speech he apparently intends to give upon assuming office. He said it was an error, that he was merely practising in case, but the leak was seen as a possibly deliberate move.

But Temer is himself facing impeachment, on the grounds that as Vice-President he was party to Rousseff’s allegedly improper decisions. He has also been named by informers in the giant Petrobras corruption scandal known as Lava Jato. And he is the subject of a case in the electoral court that alleges that he and Rousseff funded their campaign with illicit donations. Some 58% of Brazilians say they think he should be impeached.

A clear majority of Brazilians want her out of office due to their disgust with the kickbacks-for-contracts scheme that the Lava Jato prosecutors allege was worth at least US$3 billion and in which a great many senior members of her party are implicated.

If both are impeached and thrown out of office, Rousseff and Temer, 79% of Brazilians favor early elections.

Yet, one of the more remarkable aspects of the process that played out in Congress on Monday is that Ms. Rousseff faces no such charges personally. However 37 of the 65 members on the impeachment commission (including almost everyone who voted in favor of impeachment) face charges of corruption or other serious crimes. Some 303 members of the lower house have been charged or are being investigated for serious crimes. And in the Senate, it’s 49 of 81 members.

Former Brazilian president Lula da Silva addressed a rally of about 30,000 people in Rio in the moments after the Congress vote. “I never imagined that when I was 70 years of age we would see coup supporters try to oust a president who was elected by popular vote,” he said.

Categories: Politics, Brazil.

Top Comments

Disclaimer & comment rules
  • ChrisR

    They are all crooks, just some, like DumbAss Dilma herself, are bigger crooks and the Chief Crook Lula is already getting to fly to Italy!

    Somebody needs to bomb the entire lot while they are arguing who should take the fall and get the graft flowing again and allow Brazil to start over again.

    I imagine the stock market would fly skywards if that were to happen.

    Apr 12th, 2016 - 10:43 am 0
  • Jack Bauer

    Yesterday, with the signal that the cow could be impeached, the value of the Dollar dropped to it's lowest in 7 months (since Oct 21015, when the shit hit the fan in no uncertain way) and the Stock Exchange went up......mere coincidence, or just what the doctor ordered for Brazil ?

    Apr 12th, 2016 - 03:49 pm 0
  • Hepatia

    An interesting interview which highlights the venality of the Deputies and Senators who are like to vote for impeachment and conviction:

    https://theintercept.com/2016/04/11/watch-exclusive-interview-with-former-brazilian-president-lula-da-silva/

    Apr 13th, 2016 - 02:38 am 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!