By the end of this month, not only will the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio have come and gone; it is also likely that the left-wing Dilma Rousseff will have finally been removed from the presidency.
Neither will occur without incident. Nor will they solve Brazil’s increasingly confused, complex and confrontational state of affairs, from a messy entanglement of impeachment proceedings to the possibility of fresh elections to the worst economic recession in Brazilian history. Read more
Brazil’s Senate voted early on Thursday to continue the impeachment proceedings against President Dilma Rousseff, forcing the left-wing leader to step down for six months in favor of her deputy, Michel Temer.
55 to 22 senators voted to suspend Rousseff, who was elected to a second term in October 2014.
The charge against her is that she fiddled the budget figures in an election year to mask a deficit.
But those allegations are almost beside the point, especially when more than half the legislators deciding Rousseff’s fate are themselves under investigation for bribery, electoral fraud or worse. The real issue is the president’s inability to stem Brazil’s slide into its worst recession since the 1930s.
Low oil prices and a sprawling corruption scandal at the state petroleum company where she used to be a board member have also cut off a source of patronage for Rousseff’s Workers’ Party. This, more than anything, may have convinced the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB), the country’s largest, to withdraw its support from Rousseff. Read more
Brazil’s political dysfunction reaches far beyond the attempt to impeach President Dilma Rousseff. Up to 60 percent of the 594 congressmen who will decide her fate are under some kind of investigation, whether on charges of bribery, electoral fraud or even homicide.
“The congressional pot is calling the presidential kettle black, except that the pot is much bigger and darker,” writes Uri Friedman in The Atlantic. Read more