Dilma Rousseff, Brazil’s suspended president, testified in her own defense Monday at her impeachment trial. In May, Brazil’s Senate vote to proceed with an impeachment trial after Rousseff was accused of breaching fiscal rules to cover up out of control spending that led to major shortfalls in the nation’s federal budget. Rousseff has staunchly denied any wrongdoing, and she echoed that sentiment speaking before the Senate on Monday in remarks that lasted for about 45 minutes.
“I know I will be judged, but my conscience is clear. I did not commit a crime,” Rousseff declared. “I can’t help but taste the bitterness of injustice,” she added, saying the effort to unseat her amounts to a “coup d’état.” Indeed, there are factions within Brazil that believe the effort to unseat Rousseff has been motivated by political vengeance and even flat-out misogyny. Feminists in Brazil have come together denouncing the impeachment proceedings as sexist and discriminatory.
Rousseff, the first woman elected president in the country’s history, reminded senators that she won the office with the votes of some 54 million people. She repeatedly proclaimed her innocence during her speech, which concluded with her urging senators to “Vote against impeachment” and to “vote for Democracy,” and was met with a round of applause from a large number of politicians, some of them who rose to their feet to cheer her words. Watch the full speech below.
Read the full story at The Associated Press.