Judgement day looms for ‘innocent’ Rousseff
BRAZIL’S suspended president Dilma Rousseff faced judgement yesterday in a Senate vote expected to remove her from office despite her dramatic claim of being the victim of a coup.
The country’s first female president confronted her accusers in a marathon session on August 29, telling the Senate that she is innocent and warning that the Brazilian democracy is in danger.
She is accused of having taken illegal state loans to patch budget holes in 2014, masking the country’s problems as it slid into its deepest recession in decades.
The Senate was to hear closing arguments from lawyers for the two sides before holding a final debate ahead of voting – with the session possibly stretching into today.
Two-thirds, or 54, of the 81 senators must vote in favour of impeachment to strip Ms Rousseff of the presidency.
Recalling how she was tortured under Brazil’s military dictatorship in the 1970s, the leftist leader urged senators during her testimony to “vote against impeachment, vote for democracy ... Do not accept a coup.”
However, momentum to push her out of office appears unstoppable, fuelled by deep anger over Brazil’s devastating recession, months of political paralysis and a vast corruption scandal centred on the state oil giant Petrobras.
Folha, one of Brazil’s main newspapers, published a running count of senators’ voting intentions and had 52 declaring themselves pro-impeachment, with 11 undecided.
Ms Rousseff would be replaced by her vice president turned bitter enemy Michel Temer. –