Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff who is facing impeachment has denounced what she describes as a conspiracy to overthrow her suggesting that her vice president is one of its leaders .
Addressing her supporters she said a coup was being mounted against her, but they rallied behind her saying they would not allow her to be ousted.
“If there was any doubt about the coup, the farce and the betrayal that is underway, there is no more. If there was any doubt about my denunciation that there is a coup d’etat under way, there cannot be anymore (…) Yesterday it was clear that there are two leaders of the coup that are acting together and in a premeditated way,” asserted Rousseff.
Timeline: Rousseff under fire
Although she didn’t name them, it is Eduardo Cunha, the lower house Speaker and Vice President Michel Temer whom Rousseff suspects as being the ring leaders.
On Monday there was a chaotic congressional committee vote in which it was agreed to recommend proceeding with the impeachment procedure. Rousseff now faces a a vote at the weekend in the full lower Congressional House on the impeachment issue.
However before the vote on Monday, Michel Temer released an audio tape in which he spoke as if the president had already been removed. He sounded as if he was preparing to take over from Rousseff and was calling for a government of national unity.
Both Temer and Eduardo Cunha are members of the PMDB Party, formally Rouseff’s main coalition ally. However the party pulled out of the government last month.
Rousseff is said to have broken budget laws to support her reelection in 2014, a charge Rousseff says has been trumped up to remove her from office.
What happens next
The full lower house of Congress will discuss Rousseff’s impeachment starting on 15 of April with a vote on April 17/18 on whether the impeachment process should proceed.
If two thirds vote in favour, the matter will be discussed in the upper house, the Senate.
The Senate will then have to vote and if in favour of impeachment a trial headed by the Supreme Court will go ahead.
Finally, the Senate will vote on whether to impeach Dilma Rousseff.
Brazil’s economic crisis
Brazil’s economy is going through its worst recession in more than three decades following a drop in oil prices and other commodities. The economy has shrunk by 3.8%, inflation reached 10.7% and unemployment increased to 9% by the end of last year.
Brazil’s corruption crisis
Brazil is mired in its biggest ever corruption scandal dubbed “Operation Car Wash”. It is an investigation into allegations that Brazil’s biggest construction firms overcharged state-oil company Petrobras for building contracts. Part of their windfall would then be handed to Petrobras executives and politicians who were in on the deal. Prosecutors allege that the Workers’ Party partly financed its campaigns through these kickbacks.