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Dilma Rousseff Impeachment: Brazil’s Supreme Court Rejects Government Injunction

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The Brazilian Supreme Court has upheld the result of an impeachment vote against President Dilma Rousseff.

Dilma Rousseff, who says her opponents are plotting a “coup”, faces claims she manipulated government accounts.

The president has vowed to fight to “the last minute” despite the desertion of three allied parties ahead of Sunday’s vote in the lower house of parliament.

The Supreme Court made its decision in an extraordinary session.

The impeachment debate in the lower house of parliament is due to start today and continue until April 17 vote. If two-thirds of lawmakers vote for impeachment, the motion will pass to the Senate.

An impeachment vote would pave the way for Dilma Rousseff to be removed from office.Dilma Rousseff impeachment 2015

Yesterday’s injunction to suspend the vote was filed by Attorney General Jose Eduardo Cardozo who claimed that alleged procedural failings had violated the president’s right to a defense.

Seven of 10 justices voted to reject the motion even before the Supreme Court session had finished.

The Progressive Party (PP), which quit the coalition on April 12, says most of its 47 lawmakers would vote for the impeachment, and the Republican Party (PRB) said its 22 members had been told to vote in favor.

The move comes weeks after the PMDB, the largest party in the lower house, voted to leave the coalition. The PMDB’s leader in the lower house, Leonardo Picciani, said on April 14 that 90% of the party’s members would vote to impeach Dilma Rousseff.


Lawmakers from Dilma Rousseff’s own Workers’ Party are said to be increasingly despondent about April 17 vote.

The allegations, which Dilma Rousseff denies, are that she juggled the accounts to make her government’s economic performance appear better than it was, ahead of her election campaign two years ago.

Dilma Rousseff’s supporters say the issue is not valid grounds for impeachment.

On April 12, the president seemed to suggest that her Vice-President, Michel Temer, was one of the ringleaders of the “coup” attempt against her.

Dilma Rousseff said a widely distributed audio message of Michel Temer appearing to accept replacing her as president was evidence of the conspiracy. However, she did not identify him by name.

Brazil is “living in strange times”, she said, “times of a coup, of farce and betrayal”.

Lawmakers are due to start debating on April 15, with voting beginning on April 17 at about 14:00. The result should be known later in the evening.

Security is expected to be stepped up around the Congress building in Brasilia as the vote takes place.

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