Brazil's Impeachment Vote a Political Trial to Subvert Democracy
April 19, 2016
Late Sunday night, Brazil's Chamber of Deputies which is the lower house of it's the lower house of its legislature, voted to move forward on impeaching President Dilma Rousseff.
The voted followed 3 days of debate and passed with the required 2/3 majority. Rousseff and her supporters argued that the opposition is staging a coup against her. After all she's not being accused of having committed a crime or convicted of one. Rather she is being accused of having quietly taken out loans from government banks during an election year in order to temporarily hide a budget deficit.
In contrast to Rousseff, most of the legislatures who are advocating for her impeachment are themselves under investigation or charged with far more serious offenses; outright corruption to enrich themselves.
Maria Mendonca is director of Brazil's Network for Social Justice and Human Rights. She is also professor in the international relations department at the University of Rio De Janeiro.
The impeachment process now moves through Brazil's Senate which must decide with a simple majority vote whether to hold a trial against Rousseff. If it passes, Rousseff will be temporarily removed from office for 6 months while a trial takes place and Vice President Michel Temer will take over for her. The Vice President himself faces some of the same charges that is being levied against President Rousseff.
If President Dilma Rousseff is successfully impeached it will shake confidence in the entire Brazilian democratic system, says Maria Mendonca of the University of Rio de Janeiro.