‘Coup & farce’: Brazil’s Rousseff vows to fight impeachment with all legal means
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has promised to use all legal means to fight a “fraudulent” impeachment process, stating that when an elected leader is hunted over accusations of a crime they did not commit the proper term for it would be a “coup.”
“I may have made mistakes, but I didn’t commit any crime,” Rousseff said in front of a group of her supporters near the Planalto presidential palace in capital Brasilia. “It’s the most brutal of things that can happen to a human being – to be condemned for a crime you didn’t commit. There is no more devastating injustice.”
Rousseff, who was a Marxist guerilla during the country’s dictatorship in 1964-1985, said that “she never imagined that it would be necessary to fight once again against a coup in this country.”
The first female Brazilian head of state was notified of the suspension on Thursday morning, shortly after the Senate voted 55-22 to put her on trial as a result of a 20-hour-long session. The vote revealed that the opposition already has the two-thirds majority required to remove Rousseff from office definitively and even convict her.
The 68-year-old promised to use all legal means to defend herself during the trial, which may well end with her impeachment. “What’s at stake is respect for the ballot box, the sovereign will of the Brazilian people and the constitution,” she stressed.
Rousseff dismissed the majority of her cabinet, including the sports minister, who was in the final stages of overseeing Brazil’s preparations for the Rio Olympics in August. Over the course of the 6 month long trial, the suspended leftist leader will be allowed to stay in the Planalto palace and use the presidential plane.
Vice President, Michel Temer, will execute the duties of head of state over the next six months.
The 75-year-old already promised a series of austerity measures and the reform of the pension system to help reduce Brazil’s vast budget deficit.
Rousseff suspension after five years as president marks the end of the 13-year-long rule of the leftist Workers Party. The party, which was behind the country’s economic upswing, is leaving amid a corruption scandal and deep recession in the country.
While anti-Rousseff protesters celebrated and shot fireworks into the air Brasilia and several other cities, following the news of the president’s suspension, crowds of her supporters also took to the streets to denounce the move.
“The people don’t agree with the coup. Brazil is going through difficult times. They want to overthrow the democratically elected President by a majority of citizens, so we must continue to fight against this illegal process,” one of the pro-Rousseff demonstrators told RT.
Brazilian political scientist, Bruno Lima Rocha, said that he expects to see the mobilization of both pro-and anti-Rousseff supporters.
“It’s going to be the struggle of all the leftists against the regressive laws, which will now be passed at an even greater pace by the congress,” he said. He expects the public support of the new government to “be weak,” adding that “the chance of Dilma’s comeback is slim, but it still remains.”
The situation in Brazil suggests that accusations of corruption are being used as a pretext to initiate regime change and install yet another pro-US government in Latin-America – something that has already happened in Argentina, according to Adrian Salbuchi, political analyst and RT columnist.
“The Vice President of Brazil Michel Temer is very similar to Mauricio Macri of Argentina. With the excuse of corruption they are pushing aside a more populous governments replacing them with very right-of-center pro-business, pro-banking, pro-American regimes of governments like Macri in Argentina and now Mr Temer in Brazil and that is very bad much as economically, financially and socially, or even geopolitically,” he told RT. “It’s very bad for the world because it is weakening the Latin American support that we could give to the BRICS union which is a more global geopolitical construct.”