Rio de Janeiro – The main party in Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff’s coalition abandoned her government on Tuesday, the Washington Post reported. This expected move increases the odds that Lula’s successor will be impeached, as she faces allegations of fiscal irregularities and a massive corruption scandal. These issues added to an economy in recession have led her popularity to decline.
Rousseff’s impeachment is being considered by a Brazilian congressional commission. If at least two thirds of the lower house agrees that the process should begin, the leader of Latin American’s largest country will be suspended for up to 180 while the Senate takes a decision on her case. The lower house vote could take place in a few weeks.
The suspension of the Brazilian president would implicate that Vice President Michel Temer, a member of the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB), must be named interim president. His party no longer supports Rousseff’s government but he will remain as vice president.
The fact that the PMDB has withdrawn support from Rousseff’s government will probably lead the other 11 parties that usually are by the president’s side to abandon her, too. Her Workers’ Party only has 58 out of the 513 seats in Brazil’s National Congress, which means that she is not likely to muster enough votes to remain in office.
“It reinforces the odds that impeachment will occur,” said Christopher Garman, analyst and managing director at the consulting firm Eurasia Group. “We’re at the tipping point,” he stated, according to the report by the Washington Post.
Because the PMDB has abandoned Rousseff’s government, six ministers are ready to leave her cabinet and an estimated of 600 members of the party will quit public charges at the state and federal levels, as made known by party officials.
Wellington Moreira Franco, a former minister of aviation from the PMDB who worked for the president’s government said all indicates that Brazilians are yearning for change given the alarming economic situation.
Rousseff’s damaged image
An enormous investigation into corruption at state-run oil company Petrobras is being conducted and politicians from the president’s Workers’ Party, as well as allies and executives from large companies have been jailed as a result.
Rousseff has not faced charges in that probe, which is called Operation Car Wash. But she was chairman of the board at Petrobras during the period between 2003 and 2010. Investigations have found that contracting companies paid billions of dollars in bribes to the oil firm’s executives, politicians and middlemen to secure contracts during and after that term.
The Brazilian leader has not been accused of any crime regarding Operation Car Wash but there is testimony that she has tried to influence the investigation on the matter.
Source: Washington Post