The Strategist

The Brazilian Parliament Started Impeachment Proceedings Against Dilma Rousseff

12/03/2015 - 14:12

The speaker of the lower house of the Brazilian Congress Eduardo Cunha announced commencement of impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff. This step was preceded by accusing the President of corruption and a two-month investigation into financial irregularities committed by the president in the re-election campaign.

Agência Brasil
Agência Brasil
Last night the speaker of the lower house of the Brazilian parliament Eduardo Cunha announced the commencement of impeachment Dilma Rousseff President of Brazil, thereby supporting demands of the opposition. Although the impeachment vote will take place in Congress only in 2016, this decision is delivering the most serious blow to the incumbent president.

Dilma Rousseff began to talk about threat of impeachment this spring, when the scandal with the corruption in the largest Brazilian state oil company Petrobras reached its climax. Having begun in 2013, the investigation revealed some unflattering facts about Petrobras top managers. In the 2000s, they were signing agreements on behalf of the company, afterwards receiving a commission of 3% of the contract amount. The proceeds were used to bribe politicians and officials. According to police, the corrupt executives managed to earn about $ 3.8 billion on this scheme. Ms. Rousseff has been chairman of the board of directors of Petrobras' during 2003-2010 and, therefore, could not but knew what was happening. In addition, there are suspicions that Dilma Rousseff, electing for the second presidential term in the autumn of 2014, used not entirely clear funds for her re-election campaign.

The facts’ showdown led to a new investigation in respect of business representatives, government officials, members of the ruling Workers' Party and provoked a wave of mass unrest and demonstrations in the country. Up to 700 thousand people took to the streets of Brazil to protest against corruption both in Petrobras and in the government, and to demand the president’s impeachment. Then, Dilma Rousseff’s name did not appear among those in respect of which investigations were opened. However, the opposition continued to insist on the involvement of the President of corruption and demanded an investigation. It was launched on October 7 by the decision of the Federal Court Brazilian Court. The court had found that the financial statements of the government in 2014, including the preparation for re-election, were untenable. The investigation confirmed the initial suspicions and resulted in the impeachment proceedings.

Ms. Rousseff has already reacted to the news of impeachment. In her statement on television, she stressed that the charges against her are "baseless and unfounded". "My past and my present evidence of my honesty about my continued compliance with all laws and life in the public interest", - the president said, expressing confidence that the impeachment procedure will fail.
This October, The Federal Court of Accounts of Brazil unanimously ruled that in 2014, the government of President Dilma Rousseff unlawfully manipulated their accounts to cover the growing fiscal deficit in the period of re-election campaign. According to the court, the government was taking unauthorized loans from state banks and using those funds to cover the budget deficit.