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Rousseff vows to fight impeachment 'to the very end' in the Senate, where she is short of ten votes

Tuesday, April 19th 2016 - 08:23 UTC
Full article 18 comments
“I have the force, the spirit and the courage to fight this whole process to the end” Rousseff said. “This is just the beginning of the battle” “I have the force, the spirit and the courage to fight this whole process to the end” Rousseff said. “This is just the beginning of the battle”
If the Senate votes by a simple majority to accept the case next month, Rousseff would become the first Brazilian leader to be impeached for more than 20 years. If the Senate votes by a simple majority to accept the case next month, Rousseff would become the first Brazilian leader to be impeached for more than 20 years.
 Rousseff insisted she had committed no impeachable crime and accused Temer of openly conspiring to topple her government in what she described as a 'coup'. Rousseff insisted she had committed no impeachable crime and accused Temer of openly conspiring to topple her government in what she described as a 'coup'.
The president could currently count with the support of 31 senators, ten short of the simple majority in the 81-seat Senate, which looked “very difficult.” The president could currently count with the support of 31 senators, ten short of the simple majority in the 81-seat Senate, which looked “very difficult.”
“Impeachment!” was the celebratory front-page headline of Folha de Sao Paulo daily on Monday. “Close to the end,” said another leading newspaper, O Globo “Impeachment!” was the celebratory front-page headline of Folha de Sao Paulo daily on Monday. “Close to the end,” said another leading newspaper, O Globo

Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff vowed on Monday to fight impeachment to the very end in the Senate after a Sunday heavy defeat in the lower house of Congress raised the likelihood of an end to her administration and 13 years of populist rule in Latin America's largest economy.

 In a raucous vote late on Sunday that sparked jubilation among Rousseff's foes, the opposition comfortably surpassed the two-thirds majority needed to send Brazil's first female president for trial in the Senate on charges she manipulated budget accounts.

If the Senate votes by a simple majority to accept the case next month, as is expected, Rousseff would become the first Brazilian leader to be impeached for more than 20 years. She would be removed for 180 days while the upper house makes a final decision on the issue: a two thirds majority would force her from office.

The crisis has paralyzed the government as it struggles to revive the economy from its worst recession in decades. It has also sparked a bitter struggle between Rousseff, a former guerrilla, and her Vice President Michel Temer, who would take power if she is impeached.

Addressing the nation on television, a combative Rousseff insisted that she had committed no impeachable crime and accused Temer of openly conspiring to topple her government in what she described as a 'coup'.

“While I am very saddened by this, I have the force, the spirit and the courage to fight this whole process to the end,” Rousseff told the televised news conference. “This is just the beginning of the battle, which will be long and drawn out.”

Rousseff stands accused of cosmetic accounting tricks, employed by many elected officials in Brazil, basically delaying payments to state lenders in order to artificially lower the budget deficit to boost her reelection bid in 2014.

Nevertheless, opinion polls show more than 70% of Brazilians support impeaching Rousseff, less than two years after she narrowly won reelection in the runoff. Her popularity has collapses by the recession and a vast graft scandal at state oil company Petrobras.

A Rousseff aide said the government would focus on clawing back support in the 81-seat Senate, where it lacks the simple majority needed to prevent the case being accepted for trial. Given that it currently has the support of only 31 senators, the aide said the situation looked “very difficult.”

The government has been looking to Senate Speaker Renan Calheiros, a crucial but fickle ally of Rousseff's, to delay the Senate vote as long as possible to give it time to negotiate. However, Calheiros said on Monday he would remain neutral and would meet with party leaders in the Senate on Tuesday to define the calendar for the process.

Senior Workers Party figures have pledged, if necessary, to take their struggle onto the streets, raising concerns that it could seek to destabilize a future Temer government.

Despite anger at rising unemployment, the party can still rely on support among millions of working-class Brazilians, who credit its welfare programs with pulling their families out of poverty during the past decade.

The U.S. State Department voiced confidence on Monday that Brazil would navigate the political crisis democratically in accordance with the constitution.

Brazilian financial markets have rallied strongly this year after a disastrous 2015 on the prospect of a more business-friendly Temer administration. Brazil's Bovespa stock index shed 0.75% on Monday, with traders citing profit taking after it gained more than 20% so far in 2016. The currency, Real weakened more than 2% to 3.60 per dollar after the central bank intervened to prevent a sharp rise in the currency.

Categories: Politics, Brazil.

Top Comments

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  • L0B0MAU

    Bye Bye economy! Welcome Corruption!

    Apr 19th, 2016 - 11:00 am 0
  • Jack Bauer

    The fat cow will go to her grave insisting she commited no impeachable offence...well, the Lower House, and now a majority of Brazilians think differently. Regardless of the crimes attributed to her, which she tries to but cannot simply ignore, the fact that her incompetent govt got Brazil into this political and economic cris, is unpardonable. She's gotta go !

    Apr 19th, 2016 - 02:36 pm 0
  • Terence Hill

    Everybody's a critic but at the end of the day I don't see anyone who has an economic solution. “The textbook response would be to “see through”—ie, ignore—this inflation”
    www.economist.com/news/finance-and-economics/21645248-brazils-fiscal-and-monetary-levers-are-jammed-result-it-risks-getting-stuck
    ”As the government loosened fiscal policy, the Central Bank prematurely slashed its benchmark interest rate in 2011-­12. This pushed up inflation,…“
    www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2015/03/economic-backgrounder
    Since Rousseff is not in breach of any part of the Constitution and her administrative practices follow those of every previous administration she may have a valid point. She should at least be entitled to a fair and impartial trial, like any other citizen. Vox populi is fine for political decisions like elections or ”votes of confidence“ of the elected representative, but not anything of legal nature. Otherwise, there is a tacit exceptance that an an Argentine claim to the Falklands is correct.
    ”… have not found any evidence to direct involvement of Dilma Rousseff in these criminal activities. And the Brazilian presidential regime is quite specific in the Constitution: the impeachment could only be admitted in case of direct responsibility by the chief of government. That’s the reason why the attempt to remove the current president is coup d’etat and not a legal impeachment“ http://blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/voices/the-coup-detat-in-brazil/
    ”..said Lincoln Secco, a professor of history at the University of São Paulo. “This will set a very dangerous precedent for democracy in Brazil, because from now on, any moment that we have a highly unpopular president, there will be pressure to start an impeachment process.” To late the genie is out of the bottle, this will have released unforeseen consequences that was not anticipated by the greedy opportunists.

    Apr 19th, 2016 - 09:06 pm 0
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