Things not looking so peachy for Rouseff

Things not looking so peachy for Rouseff

Brazil's President Dilma Rouseff faces impeachment following claims that she tampered with state funds to hide budget gaps ahead of her 2014 re-election. 

Brazil’s lower house of Congress voted last Sunday to authorize the senate to open an impeachment trial against Rouseff. The voting ended with 367 of the 513 in the lower house backing impeachment, comfortably beyond the 342 votes that were needed to pass the case on to the senate. 

Estimates of how the Senate will vote show that they are likely to follow the lower house and vote to impeach Rouseff. Once the Senate agrees, Rouseff will have to stand down for a period of 180 days while the trial takes place and Vice President Michel Temer will lead.

The case began on December 2 when controversial lower house speaker Eduardo Cunha opened the impeachment saga by accepting a petition from a group of lawyers. The group of lawyers accused President Rouseff of having illegally juggled accounts and taken loans in order to hide the depth of the government’s financial shortfalls before her re-election in 2014. 

At the same time many politicians are also involved in a separate scandal linking them to a large embezzlement operation with state run oil company Petrobas. 

If the Senate is to launch an impeachment trial it could take place at the same time as the country hosts this year’s Olympic games in Rio which could lead to street protests throughout the country, something that could tarnish the games. 

This article first appeared in Issue 8, 2016.
Posted 10:46am Sunday 24th April 2016 by Hugh Baird.