Brazil’s former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has been rallying support for his beleaguered political protégé and successor Dilma Rousseff as she faces calls for her impeachment.
Rousseff is accused of irregularities in the government budget designed to favour her reelection in 2014.
But Lula and the ruling left-wing Workers Party, which he founded, say impeachment would amount to a coup.
Accusing the opposition of wanting to overthrow the government, he told a rally near Sao Paulo on Monday: “They have found the most spurious way because even if impeachment is in the constitution, it can only occur if someone is responsible for a crime and this is not the case for Dilma.”
Lula is himself under investigation in a separate corruption case involving the state-run oil firm, Petrobras.
He, like Rousseff, denies any wrongdoing.
Brazil’s first female president however is fighting for her political life. Her main coalition partner, the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB), has chosen to desert her and polls show that more than two-thirds of Brazilians support her impeachment.