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Game Over, Dilma

ICE Graveyard 18/04/2016 Diego Iraheta
DILMA ROUSSEFF © Ueslei Marcelino / Reuters DILMA ROUSSEFF

Before the vote on Sunday, April 17, Dilma Rousseff's government and the Worker's Party tried their best to secure the 172 votes needed to derail the impeachment of the president. With the help of former president and suspended minister Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Dilma, who is not very keen on political negotiations, led a movement to attract former allies, party leaders and dissidents to their camp.
However, it was all in vain: The final vote in the lower house of Congress was 367 in favor of Dilma's impeachment, 137 against, and 7 abstentions.
This failure to secure a minimum support base, together with the voting results, indicate a death sentence for Dilma's government.
The lower house of congress mainly addressed Dilma's failures, including her violation of the Fiscal Responsibility Law by using loans from state-owned banks to cover up a budget gap. However, this issue is merely the tip of the iceberg with regards to Dilma's mistakes.
Her reputation as a capable manager -- as described by Lula -- put her at the helm of the Growth Acceleration Program. However, her skills as a manager have been strongly disputed.
Dilma could not raise the country's GDP. On the contrary, her economic policies sent Brazil into one of the deepest recessions in its recent history.

As the impeachment process advanced in the lower house of congress -- despite being conducted by the equally unpopular figure Eduardo Cunha -- Dilma was helpless.

Factors that fueled popular dissatisfaction in recent months include: growing unemployment, the decreasing purchasing power of Brazilians, and a massive inflation rate -- the highest it's been since 2002.
The president was publicly condemned in one of the largest protests ever organized in the history of Brazil, on March 13, when 3.5 million people took to the streets.
As the impeachment process advanced in the lower house of congress -- despite being conducted by the equally unpopular figure Eduardo Cunha -- Dilma was helpless.
The allied parties gradually abandoned the government coalition. The PMDB, the PP and even the PSD, led by her faithful ally, the former Minister Gilberto Kassab, were among the main ones to quit.
The coalition that allowed the re-election of Dilma in 2014 has now dissolved. And the Brazil that appeared in the political campaign ads of two years ago has been unmasked. The actual state of the country is much worse than the scenes that had been broadcast on TV by Dilma's campaign manager João Santana, who was arrested by police earlier this year in connection to the massive corruption probe, Operation Car Wash.
Dilma's policies were unsustainable. She pushed the country's economy downhill and has faced growing outrage, expressed in mass street demonstrations marked with pot-banging, inflatable ducks (representing the taxpayers' dissatisfaction) and caricatures of former president Lula wearing a convict's uniform.
The country's current state of paralysis is intensified by Operation Car Wash, which revealed a billion-dollar corruption scheme involving Petrobras, the state-owned oil company. Although Dilma is not directly implicated in the investigations, her party is considered, along with PP and PMDB, to be one of the main beneficiaries of the corruption scheme that funneled public money to these parties.
This perfect storm of political and economic factors, combined with a declining popularity, indicates that the inevitable result is the president's fall.
Her brave heart, which once delighted voters thanks to TV ads, is currently beating at a slower pace.
The president can however alleviate the damage if she admits that she has reached the end of the line.
"I am out of the picture," she said last week.
Dilma appears no longer capable of ruling Brazil.
This post first appeared on HuffPost Brazil. It has been translated into English and edited for clarity.

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