Brazil’s Congress is set to make a decision April 17 on whether to move forward with the impeachment process against President Dilma Rousseff. A total of 38 lawmakers approved a resolution on April 11 recommending the impeachment of the president over allegations that her administration manipulated state accounts in 2014 to disguise a widening fiscal deficit as she campaigned for re-election.
Twenty seven members of the 65-member congressional committee voted against the proposal.
Commenting on the vote, former President Lula de Silva repeated his support for Rousseff, denouncing the coup attempt against her. He started his speech with his memory of the last military coup 18 years earlier, and recalled Rousseff had been democratically elected via the popular vote. “We will abandon the country,” he promised, to much applause from gathered supporters of democracy.
Rousseff has denied allegations that she used money improperly to balance the country’s budget.
The vote is largely symbolic because regardless of the outcome, Brazil’s Congress is set to vote on April 17 on whether to move forward with the impeachment process against Rousseff. If her opponents lock in two-thirds majority support for the measure, the question will go to the Senate for another vote. [See accompanying chart explaining the constitutional process required in Brazil for an impeachment of an elected president.]
The impeachment committee recommendation is expected to sway lower house lawmakers who are still undecided.
Brazil’s 65-member impeachment committee is comprised of lawmakers representing powerful conservative political caucuses, including Brazil’s agricultural sector, the evangelical church, and pro-gun advocates, among others. Following the 2014 Congressional elections, Brazil’s conservative caucuses accounted for more than half the seats in Brazil’s lower house of Congress, the Chamber of Deputies.
However, surveys by Brazilian media show the president’s opponents have not secured two-thirds of the votes in the lower house to take her impeachment to the Senate.
O Globo newspaper also reported last week that the opposition was three votes short of a majority in the impeachment committee.
Meanwhile, in the days leading up to the vote in the lower house, demonstrations will be held across the country both for and against calls for impeachment against President Rousseff.
Also in Telesur:
The man who wants to impeach Rousseff named in Panama Papers, April 11, 2016
Over three quarters of Brazilians are in favor of the impeachment of house speaker Eduardo Cunha, the lawmaker spearheading the impeachment process against President Dilma Rousseff, according to a new survey reported by Brazil’s Folha de São Paulo on Saturday.
The poll by Datafolha found that the 77 percent support for Cunha’s impeachment has stayed steady since the last survey in March, when about 80 percent of Brazilians believed the PMDB politician should be removed from office…
Public intellectuals in UK back Rousseff against ‘coup’ attempt, April 11, 2016
Dozens of influential U.K.-based figures — including Brian Eno, Michael Mansfield QC, Salma Yaqoob and Francisco Dominguez — signed a petition in The Guardian on April 11against the Brazilian opposition’s attempts to “destabilize” and “ultimately overthrow” President Dilma Rousseff.
“We are extremely concerned about the sustained efforts by sections of Brazil’s right-wing opposition to destabilize – and ultimately overthrow – its constitutional and elected government, including through attempting to impeach President Dilma Rousseff,” the letter in The Guardian reads.
“This campaign has involved demonstrations for ‘regime change’ through the ousting of the president before the end of her term. These have even included overt calls for the military to carry out a coup d’etat.”
“There is also a crude campaign aimed at discrediting former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, whom Dilma is seeking to appoint as a minister in her government. The aim here seems to be not only to oust Dilma but also legally bar Lula as a potential presidential candidate in 2018.”
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