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Dilma Rousseff Would Be The Second Brazilian President Impeached In 24 Years

ICE Graveyard 16/04/2016 Diego Iraheta
IMPEACHMENT © Montagem/Agência Brasil/Instituto Lula IMPEACHMENT

Our young democracy is about to witness the second impeachment of a president.
Dilma Rousseff, the first woman to be elected president of Brazil, and who succeeded her mentor, the most popular president in the history of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, is about to be sacrificed by congress.
The lowed house of Brazil's congress will vote on the president's impeachment on Sunday, April 17 -- a historical day reminiscent of September 29, 1992. On that date, the lower house of Congress approved the impeachment of former President Fernando Collor de Mello, by a score of 441 votes for and 38 votes against.
But today's scenario is different. The country is divided over the president's downfall.
In 1992, Collor was involved in a corruption scheme and therefore faced criminal charges. Meanwhile, Dilma is currently accused of administrative crimes. According to the opposition, she violated the Fiscal Responsibility Law by using loans from public banks to close a budget gap and fund government programs in 2015, without congress authorization.

In a true battle of narratives, government supporters and social movements argue that the impeachment represents an unlawful coup against a democratically elected president.

According to legal experts, such accounting maneuvers led to Dilma's re-election in 2014. Hélio Bicudo, one of the proponents of the impeachment request that is currently being analyzed by the lower house of congress argued the following:
"The coup actually took place when the government omitted the information that the country was broke. Stealing money isn't as bad as stealing the hope for a future. The fiscal maneuvers aren't merely an administrative issue. They were used to mischievously hide the real situation of the National Treasury from the population."
Still, Dilma has many more voices opposing her impeachment than Collor did 24 years ago.
In a true battle of narratives, government supporters and social movements argue that the impeachment represents an unlawful coup against a democratically elected president.
Attorney General José Eduardo Cardozo argues that the world is watching a scenario of instability created by political forces that aim to undermine Brazilian institutions:
"History shall never forgive those who have violated democracy. Any government that results from the violation of the Constitution shall have a questionable legitimacy. Sooner or later, the consequences will come," he said.
The question now is whether the president can be absolved in the senate.

The streets are abuzz with people -- calling both for and against Dilma's impeachment.
Despite the presence of both movements, the latest Datafolha poll shows that most Brazilians are in favor of impeachment. The majority stands behind putting the government in the ground next Sunday.
The rising popular outrage, the president's lack of political savvy -- she managed to lose the support of PMDB, its main ally, as well as the support of many other allies -- and the economic recession accompanied by skyrocketing unemployment and inflation are all factors that are contributing to Dilma's downfall.
Dilma and Lula, however, are making desperate attempts to remain in power.
Lula, the suspended minister, turned his hotel suite in Brasilia into a bunker to try and forge alliances that would allow for reversing the voting score in the lower house of Congress.
If they can secure 172 votes against the impeachment, Dilma and Lula shall remain in power. The opposition, however, claims to have the 342 votes necessary to continue the impeachment process.
Unlike the 1992 process, if the lower house of congress approves the impeachment, Dilma will not be removed from office immediately. Because the Supreme Court changed the impeachment procedure towards the end of 2015, the senate would act as the final battleground.
The question now is whether the president can be absolved in the senate.
There is also a possibility that she would resign -- like Collor did even before the senate could make a decision. Resignation was never an option in Dilma's book, but she recently acknowledged that she may very well be defeated.
"I am out of the picture," the president said, referring to a possible approval of the impeachment at the lower house of congress.
The vote takes place this Sunday, and it may mark the end of the Worker's Party 14 year-rule in Brazil.
This post first appeared on HuffPost Brazil. It has been translated into English and edited for clarity.

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