Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff faced an important political setback as a Congressional impeachment committee voted 38 to 27 to remove her from office for window-dressing government finances ahead of the 2014 election. There will most likely follow a full vote of the lower house later this weekend, where the opposition needs a two-thirds majority for the motion to move on to the Senate. Rousseff’ supporters see the impeachment efforts as a coup, which is spearheaded by lower house Speaker Eduardo Cunha, an opposition politician who is embroiled in corruption scandals and accused of taking more than $5m in kickbacks from state-run oil company Petrobras. “It is absurd to dismiss a president who has not committed crimes, nor stolen a penny,” attorney general José Eduardo Cardozo said. “Such a process without crime or fraud would be a coup.”
The procedures are heating up the political climate in Brazil, where hundreds of thousands of pro-and anti-impeachment protesters are expected to take to the streets by the time of a plenary vote. While the committee defeat was expected, with Rousseff effectively leading a minority government, and being plagued by economic recession, corruption scandals and political plots, impeachment would still be very hard to achieve, as it needs to be approved by the Senate twice and could be challenged in the Supreme Court. While public opinion seems to favor impeachment, those numbers are declining: in a recent poll, 61 percent of respondents said they were in favor of Rousseff’s removal, down from 68 percent in March.
Read the full story at The Guardian.