“Departure of Dilma”

Telephone recording suggests possible political plot to impeach Brazil’s Dilma Rousseff

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff addresses a news conference in Brasilia on April 19, 2016, warning an impeachment process launched against her will harm Brazil's stability. (EVARISTO SA/AFP/Getty Images)

A telephone conversation recorded in March and released Monday between a Brazilian politician and a businessman suggests the pair may have plotted to impeach then-President Dilma Rousseff in order to thwart an investigation and hand power to the now-interim president Michel Temer. Brazilian newspaper Folha de S. Paulo published excerpts on Monday from a recorded conversation between Romero Juca, a leader of the country’s Democratic Movement Party, and former business executive Sergio Machado discussing ways to stop an investigation that involved both of them. The conversation included a suggestion that Rousseff be impeached. In one excerpt, the business executive, Sergio Machado, referred to “the departure of Dilma.”

The Brazilian Senate debated impeaching Rousseff for much of April and voted on May 12 to suspend her while she faces an impeachment trial.

Machado said that following the “departure,” Temer “would form a government of national unity, make a major agreement, protect Lula and protect everyone. This country would return to being calm.”

The conversation referred to another politician, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Rousseff’s predecessor. The recordings are seen as a setback to Temer’s campaign to win the country’s support, according to the report. And this is not the first rumblings of a plot to bring down Rousseff. Some experts have suspected that Rousseff is the victim of a virulent sexist campaign to end the presidency of the first woman to hold the office in Brazil.

Read the full story at The New York Times.

Related:

Dilma Rousseff blasts impeachment as “coup” and “farce”

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