Rousseff decries conspiracy as impeachment advances

Apr 13, 2016, 7:03 AM EDT
(Source: João de Bourbon/flickr)
(Source: João de Bourbon/flickr)

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said on Tuesday her vice president was orchestrating a conspiracy to topple her, as efforts to impeach the leftist leader gained momentum in Congress.

Reuters reports:

Aided by her mentor and predecessor, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Rousseff scrambled to secure enough support from a dwindling array of allies to block impeachment in a lower house vote due on Sunday that analysts project she will lose. A congressional committee voted on Monday by a larger-than-expected margin to recommend that Rousseff be impeached for breaking budget laws to support her re-election in 2014, a charge Rousseff says was trumped up to remove her from office. Political risk consultancies estimate at 60 to 65 percent the odds of impeachment clearing the lower house, since the committee vote was expected to sway undecided lawmakers to join the opposition. While Rousseff fights for her political survival, her government is largely paralyzed as Brazil, the world's seventh-largest economy, struggles with a deep recession and its biggest-ever corruption scandal. "They now are conspiring openly, in the light of day, to destabilize a legitimately elected president," Rousseff said in a speech on Tuesday, referring to an audio message sent by Vice President Michel Temer to his supporters on Monday in which he called for a government of national unity to overcome Brazil's political crisis.

Al Jazeera writes:

On Tuesday, the controversial speaker of the lower house of Congress, Eduardo Cunha, was expected to present the formal impeachment document to the chamber. Deputies were then due to start debating on Friday with a vote pencilled in for Sunday. "Yesterday it became clear that there are two leaders of the coup who work together in a premeditated way," Rousseff said without giving names, although the context clearly referred to Temer and the speaker of the lower house, Eduardo Cunha. "They are coup plotters, without respect for democracy," she said. "They are trying to bring down without legal justification a president elected with 54 million votes." Rousseff faces impeachment proceedings over allegations that she illegally manipulated government accounts to cover up the depth of budget woes.

Meanwhile, another coalition partner of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has announced it is quitting, dealing a further blow to her bid to stave off impeachment. The BBC reports:

The Progressive Party (PP) said most of its 47 MPs would vote for Ms Rousseff to be impeached. Last month the PMDB, the largest party in Brazil's governing coalition, also voted to leave. Ms Rousseff, who faces an impeachment vote in the lower house on Sunday, says her opponents of plotting a "coup". They claim she manipulated accounts to hide Brazil's growing deficit ahead of her election campaign two years ago. She denies this and her supporters say the issue is not valid grounds for impeachment anyway.