On Sunday, April 17th, Brazil’s lower-house council members voted in favor of the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff. This is her sixth year in office.
Allegedly, the president sourced funding from state-owned financial institutions to hide a considerate budget deficit in order to positively influence her re-election campaign in 2014.
The decision to pass the case to the Senate came after three days of debate. Of 513 members, 367 voted in favor of impeachment, 137 not in favor, 7 abstaining, and 2 did not vote. The Senate’s 81 members will take a majority vote to decide if the president’s case will go to trial. In order for the impeachment to pass, two-thirds of the Senate must vote in favor.
In the event the case is to be tried, President Dilma Rousseff will temporarily—and involuntarily—step down for the duration of the trial. During this time Vice President Michel Temer will step in as president.
If impeachment is passed, the president can appeal her case to the Supreme Federal Tribunal.
Although the country is in its worst recession in many years, Rousseff still has supporters. Perhaps, not in support of her directly, but of the country’s only recent status as a democratic state. It was only in 1985 that the nation met the end of two decades of dictatorship… many fear that history will repeat itself.
Her democratic predecessor, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, was a highly skilled politician who greatly boosted the country’s economic growth and introduced many benefits to the country’s welfare program, improving the quality life in every neighborhood.
As the country’s president for two full terms, he was not able to run for a third time in the 2010 election and appointed Rouseff as his successor. She won the election by a landslide with the promise of carrying the country on in its upward trend.
Rouseff, however, had never held government office and lacked the same political skills and connections that da Silva had. The country’s strong economic status began to suffer.
Nevertheless, she was re-elected in 2014, but by a much narrower margin.
Soon after her re-election, many of her fellow Workers’ Party members were caught in a corruption scandal, and the country’s economy quickly slipped into a downward trend out of the president’s control. It was then that her rivals began to campaign for her impeachment, Vice President Temer among them.
The campaign has brought the country into a sea of protests, chaos, and distress.
Brazilians anxiously await the Senate’s vote, expected to take place sometime next month.