Brazil’s Rousseff Says She’s the Victim of a “Farce”

BRASILIA – Brazil’s suspended president, Dilma Rousseff, who is out of office pending the result of an impeachment trial in the Senate, said in a letter to the upper chamber committee that is handling the proceedings against her that she was the victim of a “farce” and would fight to remain in power.

During Wednesday’s hearing, defense attorney Jose Eduardo Cardozo appeared on Rousseff’s behalf and read aloud the 32-page missive in which she insisted that “an innocent person” who had received 54 million votes when re-elected in 2014 was being put on trial.

Rousseff is accused of various illegal fiscal maneuvers to mask a large budget deficit, including signing decrees that altered government budgets without congressional authorization and securing loans for the federal government from state-owned banks.

The Federal Court of Accounts, known as the TCU, found last year that Rousseff’s administration had committed fiscal irregularities, while a nonpartisan team of Senate budget experts partially confirmed in an analysis carried out at the request of her defense team that she had engaged in wrongdoing.

Rousseff has said she bears no direct responsibility for these matters and that the decrees were issued after consultation with members of her budget team, which signed off on them.

She also maintains that the transactions involving state-owned banks were not loans but mere delays in repaying funds that had been used to cover the cost of social programs.

A two-thirds majority is needed in the Senate to permanently remove Rousseff from office.

If that occurs, Michel Temer, her former vice president and current interim head of state, would serve out the remainder of her term, which expires on Jan. 1, 2019.

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Rousseff: Lula To Run in Brazil's 2018 Presidential Elections

Lula has repeated on various occasions that the more he faces attacks, the more likely he will run for president in 2018.

Suspended Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said Thursday that former president and leader of the Workers Party, Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva will be a candidate for the next presidential elections in 2018.

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She argued that the coup organized by the right-wing elites against her was mainly motivated by Lula's probable candidacy, “Today, despite all the attempts to destroy his public image, Lula remains one of the most beloved personalities in the country,” she told French daily L'Express.

Lula has repeated on various occasions that the more he faces attacks, the more likely he will run for president in 2018.

He is under investigation as part of the corruption probe known as Operation Car Wash, for alleged crimes linked to the Petrobras state oil bribery and fraud scandal.

 

The Supreme Court took over the case in March after federal judge Sergio Moro gave the green light to the release of a taped conversation between Lula and Rousseff, leaked as alleged evidence, that his appointment to her cabinet was a move to guard him from prosecution.

Rousseff’s office slammed the leak as illegal, while Supreme Court Justice Teori Zavascki removed Moro from the case over questions of legality in the investigations.

Rousseff also reminded to L'Epress that she had not committed any crime, and that many of her predecessors had to resort to the budget manipulations that she was accused of in the impeachment procedure.

"President Fernando Enrique Cardoso approved 23 similar decrees, the accusation is only a pretext," she added.

Rousseff got a boost in her fight against impeachment Monday as a report prepared by analysts in the Senate found that there is no evidence to suggest she was personally responsible for fiscal wrongdoing. It remains unclear, however, how the findings will impact the impeachment process that has hinged on such allegations and has now been delayed until August 26, after the Rio Olympics.

  • Published in World
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