The president of Rio has the difficult task of convincing a Senate that she has against her
The president of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff , suspended from his duties since last May, is already prepared for the appearance of this Monday in the Senate in which he will defend himself in person in a last attempt to avoid his imminent dismissal.
This will be the first time that Rousseff has come to Parliament since the impeachment proceedings against him began last December to refute the charges against him, a series of maneuvers with which the fiscal accounts of 2015
These alleged irregularities refer to three decrees that modified the budgets without authorization from Congress and the delay in deposits to the public bank, which, according to the accusation, amounts to the granting of loans to the Government, something that is prohibited by the Brazilian Constitution. .
The prosecution considers that these operations represent a “crime of responsibility”, which the Constitution considers as a reason for the dismissal of a head of state, but the defense denies any irregularity and argues that all the presidents of the democratic era made similar maneuvers.
The fate of the first woman president of Brazil is in the hands of 81 senators, and if 54 of them – two thirds of the upper house – vote in favor of his dismissal, he will lose the position, which would go to his former vice president, Michel Temer, who has been the head of the State on an interim basis since May 12.
In that case, Temer would remain in power until January 1, 2019, when he would hand over the position to the winner of the elections scheduled for October 2018, but if the Senate votes in the opposite direction, Rousseff would regain the Presidency immediately.
If 54 of the 81 senators vote in favor of the dismissal Rousseff will be definitively dismissed from office
The change in the Presidency would also mean a strong political turnaround, which has already been palpable in these months, since Rousseff defended a strong social spending and the Government of Temer prepares drastic budget cuts, privatizations and cuts in labor rights to deal with the deep recession that crosses the country.
Most of the 81 senators have already expressed their conviction that Rousseff incurred in the irregularities imputed to him, and, in fact, in the two previous votes that were held in the upper house in previous phases of the process, two thirds were exceeded. , with 55 votes in the first and 59 in the second.
The session in which Rousseff will appear is expected long and start at 09.00 (12.00 GMT) with a statement from the president, which will last half an hour and could be extended another half with the permission of the president of the Supreme Court, Ricardo Lewandowski, who chairs the impeachment as constitutional guarantor.
Then a question-and-answer session begins, in which all senators have the right to speak for five minutes while Rousseff has no limit to state his arguments.
A debate to take place
Then there will be a debate in which all the senators will be able to speak for ten minutes and in which the accusation and defense will present their final arguments for an hour and a half, before the final vote takes place, which could take place between Tuesday and Sunday. on Wednesday.
The senators opposed to Rousseff held preparatory meetings on Sunday and said they intend to ask technical questions, restricted to the maneuvers for which he is accused, but warned that they will be belligerent if the president “provokes” them.
These would understand as a provocation any allusion that the process involves a “coup d’état”, a thesis that Rousseff has defended insistently, or if it brings out the corruption scandal in Petrobras, for which a good part of the senators are investigated. and deputies from all over the parliamentary arch.
The suspended president wants to go to the Senate accompanied by her political godfather and predecessor in office, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, and protected by the social movements that will be concentrated at the doors of the legislative headquarters.
On Sunday, these leftist groups held a demonstration in the parking lot of the Nilson Nelson sports hall in the center of Brasilia, in which some 400 people took part, a very small number compared to the demonstrations that occurred in previous months.
The demonstrators carried banners such as “Fuera Temer”, “The blow is against you” and “Do not lose your rights”, and they also placed another sign with the caption “No to the coup d’état” in Eixo Monumental, the main avenue of Brasilia .