Dilma’s House of Cards

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There is something wrong about Brazil’ politics. There are all sorts of accusations against the politicians in Brazil: from taking bribes; or concealing from the local Tax authorities bank accounts abroad; or planning the escape of prison of a country’s convict in a private plane. The main accusation that could cost to Rousseff the Presidency of Brazil is not the Petrobras’ bribery scandal which is splashing her government. It is also not the accusation about her 2014 presidential re-election campaign received diverted money from the state oil company and also from the biggest public construction companies, as one of these construction companies’ former executive Andrade Gutierrez declared to the prosecutors.

The central accusation against Rousseff is the violation of the tax rules, making up the budget’ deficit, which in Brazil is called “fiscal pedalling” which involves the use of public banks’ money to cover  the government accountability’ programs.

This particular process has caused a rift in Brazil and it is dividing to those who believe that it would be fair to dismiss the President, from those who argue that it would be a terrible injustice or even a coup. Dilma has the unconditional support of the Bolivarian axis, which always saw this Brazilian cabinet as an economic giant and a loyal political ally to the Bolivarian revolution, not the best partners from my point of view. On the other side, Argentina and Colombia have been unwilling to make an opinion publicly although no one denies indoors about the concern and consequences of the impeachment process opened against the President of Brazil.

The news in Brazil are running with breakneck speed. Waldir Maranhao, the interim president of Congress, annulled the trial of Rousseff in the Senate on May 9th, and he reversed the decision the following day. Maranhao is also investigated for corruption. Although Dilma still resists: as the last attempt to stop her impeachment, her government presented on May 10th an appeal in the Supreme Court by “legal defects” in the legal procedure when starting the process.

The impeachment process also has been questioned because some of its promoters are involved in corruption scandals which would exceed the accusations against Rousseff. Eduardo Cunha, former Senate’ President, who is the impeachment ‘process leader against Rousseff, was suspended from office for being investigated recently by the Petrobras’ issue. Luis Almagro, OAS Secretary General, has questioned this process’ legitimacy after meeting with Rousseff in Brasilia: “a high percentage of congressman and senators who might be involved in this process, are being investigated or charged from corruption affairs.” A report of the NGO Transparency Brazil revealed that 49 of the 81 members of the Senate have been convicted or accused of crimes at some point. There is almost the same percentage in the Congress’ Chamber.

Dilma is very isolated; she has lost the support of the political parties of the cabinet’ coalition, and no longer has much of the strong support from the underprivileged Brazilians, her usual biggest sponsor. According to the polls her political support has fallen to 10%, and 61% of the population approve her impeachment. With or without Dilma Rousseff, the future ahead for Brazil in such a politicians’ hands is devastating.


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