Even the popular incumbent Lula could no longer help Rousseff. Image: Jose Cruz – Agência Brasil/CC BY 3.0 br
Elected president Dilma Rousseff is deposed. Ex-vice president continues in office, numerous opponents of the politician are presumed to be corrupt
In Brazil, an alliance of centrist and right-wing parties removed elected President Dilma Rousseff from office in the wake of a controversial trial in the South American country and internationally.
After a marathon session lasting more than 13 hours, 61 out of 81 members of the Senate voted to remove the politician from the left-leaning Workers’ Party (PT). For this step 54 votes were necessary. Such a majority had emerged after former coalition partner PMDB turned against Rousseff. The presidency will continue until the end of Rousseff’s term with former Vice President Michel Temer, who has little popular support and whose PMDB polling came in at less than 14 percent in the 2014 election. Rousseff’s opponents, who have spoken of a coup d’etat against Brazilian democracy, have rejected a new election. The politician will continue to hold political office despite the impeachment.
In mid-May, after more than 20 hours of debate, the Senate voted 55-22 to suspend Rousseff, paving the way for impeachment proceedings. This procedure is not based on corruption, as is often falsely reported, but on a breach of rules in the handling of state funds. Rousseff and high-ranking lawyers point out that previous governments have also interfered with the budget in a similar way, so the suspended president is calling it a coup d’etat. In fact, there is much to suggest that Rousseff’s opponents overthrew her in order to escape corruption investigations themselves (Brazil’s corrupt bigwigs stage coup).
During the final debate in the Senate, where each speaker had ten minutes, the procedure was questioned several times. The former Minister of Justice Jose Eduardo Cardozo, for example, condemned the "Impeachment" sharply. Should Rousseff be convicted, "I pray to God that one day a new justice minister will have the honor to ask them for forgiveness", said the PT politician: "If she is still alive, it will be her directly, or her daughter and grandchildren", Cardozo said. History will acquit Rousseff, the ex-minister said – apparently echoing Fidel Castro’s defense speech against lawyers of the Batista dictatorship in 1953.
Rousseff has nevertheless been forced out of office by a corrupt bonzocracy for accounting tricks. At the same time, out of 65 members of the original impeachment commission, 37 – across all political camps – have been indicted for corruption and other offenses. This is the result of a constantly updated list compiled by the organization Transparency International in Brazil. In the House, 303 members are under criminal investigation, and in the Senate, 49 of 81 members are under investigation. With the removal of Rousseff, the investigation of alleged criminal politicians was allowed to become more difficult.