Rouss­eff to be im­peached af­ter Olympics

The Myanmar Times - - World -

BRAZIL’S se­nate voted to hold an im­peach­ment trial for the na­tion’s sus­pended pres­i­dent Dilma Rouss­eff, a process that could see her per­ma­nently re­moved from of­fice.

The Au­gust 9 vote in favour of try­ing Ms Rouss­eff, who was sus­pended from the pres­i­dency in May, was 59 in favour, 21 against.

The se­nate sus­pended Ms Rouss­eff, the South Amer­i­can na­tion’s first fe­male pres­i­dent, on May 12 over ac­cu­sa­tions of il­le­gal ac­count­ing prac­tices and fid­dling the bud­get to mask a slump­ing econ­omy.

Ms Rouss­eff, 68, has likened the im­peach­ment drive to a putsch by her po­lit­i­cal en­e­mies.

The im­peach­ment trial is set to open around Au­gust 25 – four days af­ter the Olympics clos­ing cer­e­mony – and is ex­pected to last five days, con­clud­ing with a judge­ment vote.

The tim­ing of the na­tion’s on­go­ing po­lit­i­cal cri­sis could hardly be more awk­ward for Brazil, which was meant to be show­cas­ing its bur­geon­ing eco­nomic clout and po­lit­i­cal sta­bil­ity with South Amer­ica’s first Olympics.

At the start of the marathon se­nate ses­sion, which got un­der way on Au­gust 9, Supreme Court pres­i­dent Ri­cardo Le­wandowski re­minded sen­a­tors that they were about to “ex­er­cise one of the most se­ri­ous tasks un­der the con­sti­tu­tion”.

Ms Rouss­eff ’s op­po­nents had no trou­ble at­tain­ing a sim­ple ma­jor­ity of the 81 se­nate votes to be­gin steps to end her pres­i­dency.

“What we are talking about today is de­fend­ing the con­sti­tu­tion and democ­racy. Those who com­mit crimes must be held re­spon­si­ble,” said Sen­a­tor Ae­cio Neves, one of Ms Rouss­eff’s most fer­vent op­po­nents.

“The con­di­tions are firmly in place for re­mov­ing Dilma Rouss­eff.”

About 250 of Ms Rouss­eff’s sup­port­ers demon­strated in cen­tral Sao Paulo, while in the se­nate cham­ber in Brasilia her al­lies de­fended her.

“Today is not a good day for our democ­racy,” said Sen­a­tor Paulo Rocha. “There is a po­lit­i­cal al­liance that smells of a coup.”

Im­peach­ment would not only seal Ms Rouss­eff’s po­lit­i­cal fate, but would bring an end to 13 years of left­ist rule in Brazil: Her po­lit­i­cal men­tor, pres­i­dent Luiz Ina­cio Lula da Silva pre­ceded her in of­fice.

But in re­cent months, Mr Lula, as he is called, has en­coun­tered po­lit­i­cal prob­lems of his own.

Of­fi­cials re­cently an­nounced that

the 70-year old left­ist leader will be put on trial for al­legedly try­ing to ob­struct a cor­rup­tion probe into Petro­bras, the na­tional oil con­cern.

Since Ms Rouss­eff’s sus­pen­sion, her deeply un­pop­u­lar vice pres­i­dent Michel Te­mer has served as in­terim leader, as the na­tion strug­gles to emerge from its worst re­ces­sion in decades. –

Photo: AFP

Sup­port­ers of sus­pended Brazil­ian pres­i­dent Dilma Rouss­eff protest against in­teri Av­enue, Sao Paulo, on Au­gust 9.

m pres­i­dent Michel Te­mer on Paulista

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