MercoPress, en Español

Montevideo, September 21st 2018 - 18:24 UTC

Mercosur unmoved by Rousseff''s invocation of the “democratic clause”

Friday, April 29th 2016 - 05:44 UTC
Full article 5 comments
Argentina said it is most respectful of the Brazilian constitutional process Argentina said it is most respectful of the Brazilian constitutional process
For Paraguay, Brazil is a consolidated democracy and is not going to interfere For Paraguay, Brazil is a consolidated democracy and is not going to interfere
The Uruguayan government and coalition are divided on the issue The Uruguayan government and coalition are divided on the issue
Rousseff has repeatedly claimed that there is a coup in process to remove her from office Rousseff has repeatedly claimed that there is a coup in process to remove her from office
The Brazilian Senate will hold a full house vote on the issue on May 11 The Brazilian Senate will hold a full house vote on the issue on May 11

“We respect the Brazilian constitutional process” and thus Argentina does not have plans to follow on president Dilma Rousseff announcement that she will appeal to Mercosur to implement the “democratic clause” if the impeachment process to remove the head of state from office advances in the country's Senate.

 The statement belongs to Argentine cabinet chief, Marcos Peña during a hearing in Congress and follows on previous statements from the Argentine foreign ministry saying that there is no position on the issue but “closely monitor the situation with concern”.

“We understand the political situation, but we must be responsible and be respectful of the institutional process of another country; we can't assess Brazilian legislation, however we are in permanent contact with the Brazilian foreign office”, said Peña.

He added the Argentine government was following the situation with “great concern as we did when the situation in Venezuela, and to our understanding the open violation of Mercosur democratic clauses. But each country has its own processes”.

Earlier in the week and also in New York the Brazilian president repeatedly claimed there was “a coup in process” speared by the Brazilian congress, and “I would like Mercosur and Unasur to closely follow the process”, particularly to take into consideration the implementation of the 'democratic clause'.

However on Wednesday in Montevideo during a ceremony to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Treaty of Asunción, which was the founding stone of Mercosur, the Brazilian foreign minister Mauro Vieira made a very aseptic speech about the event and did not even insinuate such a possibility.

Furthermore the Paraguayan foreign minister Eladio Loizaga pointed out that Brazil is “a consolidated democracy and we are not going to interfere” regarding the impeachment process. “Let each country, according to its constitutional norms and democratic institutions to decide what it has to decide”.

Paraguay is still licking its wounds from the 2012 situation when Mercosur imposed the 'democratic clause' following the impeachment which removed then president Fernando Lugo from office, despite following the constitutional procedure.

As to the Uruguayan government which at one point, since it holds the Mercosur chair, tried to make a statement in support of Rousseff and had no echo, is also is divided on the issue: in the cabinet apparently there is a slight majority to let events follow the constitutional track.

Even when the ruling coalition Broad Front did express support for Rousseff in a brief statement, alleging to her 'electoral legitimacy and conservative forces coup attempt', the release only helped reflect the low key, but serious, political divide in the country, because the government seems overwhelmed and unable to address the current challenges despite a majority in parliament.

It was all limited to a statement by foreign minister Rodolfo Nin Novoa who stated that Mercosur must guarantee respect for the democratic institutions of the country members. “Justice, rule of the law, legitimacy, and governance must be above political divides. We trust this will be the path for the good of Brazil and Mercosur”'.

According to Brazilian congressional sources, next 6 May the special 21 member Senate committee will vote and recommend the impeachment process to advance. The full house on 11 May, will then confirm the proposal with an absolute majority of 41 votes (fifty Senators have anticipated their support), and this means president Rousseff will be removed from office for 180 days. During that period the Senate will discuss the merits for the definitive removal, but needs a two thirds majority to confirm the initiative.

However for Rousseff and her political mentor Lula da Silva and the Workers Party, the “coup” will become effective on 11 May if the president is suspended for 180 days and vice president Michel Temer takes office as head of state.

As to Unasur since decisions must be by consensus, the position of Argentina, Paraguay, Chile, Colombia among others limits such an option.

Top Comments

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  • Skip

    Quite embarrassing for Dilma to be begging neighbouring countries to sanction her country as a weapon against the impeachment.

    No one is one her side!

    Apr 29th, 2016 - 06:13 am 0
  • chronic

    The master of the obvious - coffee boy.

    Apr 29th, 2016 - 09:37 am 0
  • Skip

    Erm.... right mate!

    Apr 29th, 2016 - 09:42 am 0
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