Brazil's removed president Dilma Rousseff left the capital on Tuesday to return to her adopted hometown of Porto Alegre, capital of Rio Grande do Sul, neighboring with Uruguay. A few dozen supporters were waiting outside as Rousseff abandoned Alvorada palace, the presidential residence, which she continued to occupy during the Senate trial that ended last Wednesday with her removal from office.
The now-former head of state ordered her driver to stop, got out of the vehicle and greeted some of the well-wishers, thanking them for their solidarity before heading to the airport.
Waving the red banners of Rousseff's Workers Party, the group chanted No to the coup and Temer out, referring to new President Michel Temer.
Rousseff's vice president was sworn in last week after senators voted 61-20 to oust the country's first woman president less than halfway through her second term. Rousseff, who denied having committed the budgetary maneuvers that formed the basis of the charges against her, called the impeachment process a parliamentary coup.
The removed president arrived at Brasilia's international airport on Tuesday just hours after Temer disembarked on his return from the G-20 summit in China, the new chief executive's first turn on the international stage.
Rousseff, 68, was born in Belo Horizonte but lived for nearly four decades in Porto Alegre, where she settled after spending three years in prison for her role in resistance to the 1964-1985 military dictatorship.
Rousseff, who says she is returning to Porto Alegre so she can be close to her daughter and grandchildren, has ruled out any involvement in electoral politics in the near future. The most she has advanced is that my political plan is to oppose this government
However it must be pointed out that Rousseff remains politically active since the Senate which removed her from office, in a second vote was unable to ban her for eight years on running for public office or holding any position in government, as provided for in the Brazilian constitution. Two thirds were needed but only 42 supported the motion while 36 voted against and three abstained. When her removal the vote was 61 to 20.
They did a last-minute legal trick and guaranteed the former president's political rights, Senator Jose Medeiros, of the Social Democratic Party, said on last Friday's vote. He spoke after filing a request to annul the second vote, which he said was unconstitutional.
The head of the ruling Brazilian Democratic Movement Party, Romero Juca, also condemned on Twitter the Senate's vote separating the matter of Rousseff's ouster from her future political life.
President Temer, initially annoyed by the vote to maintain Rousseff's rights, played down the twist in her final removal. The Senate made that decision, wrongly or rightly, but the Senate made that decision, Temer said on the sidelines of the G20 summit in China.