Brazilian Senate Impeaches Dilma Rousseff
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff was impeached “by the country’s corruption-tainted senate” after an impeachment trial that ended the 13-year rule of the Workers’ Party, The Guardian reports.
Following a crushing 61 to 20 defeat in the upper house, she will be replaced for the remaining two years and three months of her term by Michel Temer, a centre-right patrician who was among the leaders of the campaign against his former running mate.
In a separate vote, the senate voted 42 to 36 not to bar Rousseff from public office for eight years.
After coming to power in 2010, support for Rousseff, Brazil’s first female president, dwindled amid sharp losses in the nation’s economy, a massive bribery scandal and the government’s failure to satisfy public needs.
For more than 10 months, the leftist leader has fought efforts to impeach her for frontloading funds for government social programmes and issuing spending budget decrees without congressional approval ahead of her reelection in 2014. The opposition claimed that these constituted a “crime of responsibility”. Rousseff denies this and claims the charges – which were never levelled at previous administrations who did the same thing – have been trumped up by opponents who were unable to accept the Workers’ party’s victory. …
Her lawyer, José Eduardo Cardozo, said the charges were trumped up to punish the president’s support for a huge corruption investigation that has snared many of Brazil’s elite. This follows secret recordings of Romero Jucá, the majority leader of the senate and a key Temer ally, plotting to remove the president to halt the Lava Jato (car wash) investigation into kickbacks at state oil company Petrobras.
While Rousseff was in the upper chamber, her critics heard her in respectful silence. But in a final session in her absence on Tuesday, they lined up to condemn her. As in an earlier lower house impeachment debate, the senators – many of whom are accused of far greater crimes – clearly revelled in the spotlight of their ten-minute declarations. Reflecting the growing power of rightwing evangelism, many invoked the name of God. One cited Winston Churchill. Another sang. Another appeared to be in tears.
Political philosopher Noam Chomsky previously told “Democracy Now!” that Rousseff, who “hasn’t stolen to enrich herself,” was being “impeached by a gang of thieves” in “a kind of soft coup.”
Glenn Greenwald, co-founder of The Intercept, agreed:
—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.Wait, before you go…
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