Rouss­eff, Lula to boyco Rio open­ing cer­e­mony

The Myanmar Times - - Olympics -

and plan to put all my en­ergy to­wards com­ing back strong, healthy and in shape to play at­tack­ing ten­nis in 2017.”

Switzer­land’s Olympic as­so­ci­a­tion rued the with­drawal of Fed­erer, his coun­try’s flag bearer at both the 2004 and 2008 Games, but chef de mis­sion Ralph Stoeckli sym­pa­thised with the ten­nis star’s de­ci­sion.

“Noth­ing is more im­por­tant for an ath­lete than their health. We wish Roger Fed­erer a quick re­cov­ery and we look for­ward to fol­low­ing his out­stand­ing ca­reer next year,” Stoeckli said in a Swiss Olympic state­ment. – BRAZIL’S sus­pended pres­i­dent Dilma Rouss­eff and her pre­de­ces­sor and left­wing ally Luiz Ina­cio Lula da Silva will boy­cott the open­ing cer­e­mony at the Rio Olympics, of­fi­cials an­nounecd on July 26.

Their ab­sence at the Au­gust 5 cer­e­mony high­lights the po­lit­i­cal cri­sis in Brazil, with Rouss­eff fac­ing pos­si­ble re­moval from of­fice in an im­peach­ment trial shortly after the Games end. Lula, who as pres­i­dent was in­stru­men­tal in Rio’s win­ning bid as Olympic host, faces se­ri­ous cor­rup­tion al­le­ga­tions.

Rouss­eff, who was first elected in 2010, is on trial in the Se­nate on al­le­ga­tions of breaking gov­ern­ment bud­get laws. A judge­ment vote is sched­uled for late Au­gust and could see her re­moved from her post.

The leftist leader says the im­peach­ment process is a coup in dis­guise mounted by her for­mer vice pres­i­dent, Michel Te­mer, who has been act­ing pres­i­dent since Rouss­eff’s sus­pen­sion in May. If she is re­moved, Te­mer would re­tain the pres­i­dency un­til 2018.

Te­mer is ex­pected to pre­side over the Games as Brazil’s leader.

On July 25, Rouss­eff said in an in­ter­view with French ra­dio RFI that she would refuse to at­tend the open­ing cer­e­mony with any­thing less than pres­i­den­tial sta­tus.

“I do not in­tend to take a sec­ondary role in the Games in Rio,” she said.

Es­tadao news­pa­per re­ported that the in­vi­ta­tion to Rouss­eff is sim­i­lar to that sent out to sev­eral ex-pres­i­dents of Brazil, in­clud­ing her pre­de­ces­sor Lula, Fernando Hen­rique Car­doso, Fernando Col­lor de Mello and Jose Sar­ney.

While Rouss­eff faces ejec­tion from of­fice, Lula, who founded the Work­ers’ Party and served two pres­i­den­tial terms him­self, is also strug­gling against se­ri­ous cor­rup­tion al­le­ga­tions re­lated to the vast em­bez­zle­ment con­spir­acy at state oil com­pany Petro­bras.

When Rio won the Games, it was seen as the ic­ing on the cake of a Lula pres­i­dency lauded around the world for us­ing a com­modi­ties­fu­elled eco­nomic boom to lift mil­lions of peo­ple out of se­vere poverty.

But the po­lit­i­cal cri­sis, ac­com­pa­nied by a se­vere re­ces­sion, has left Brazil in a dark mood with less than two weeks to go un­til the Games.

A re­cent Datafolha poll found that 50 per­cent of Brazil­ians op­pose host­ing the Olympics, with 63pc pre­dict­ing that the event will bring more bad than good. –

Photo: EPA

Roger Fed­erer was dis­ap­pointed by his loss in the Wim­ble­don semi­fi­nal against Mi­los Raonic of Canada, 6-3, 6-73, 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 on July 8.

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