Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Brazil’s Rousseff Assails “Treacherous” Vice President

“Keep your friends close and your enemies closer,” says an old adage. In the case of Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff, however, former allies have turned into adversaries that are a little to close to her as she faces an impeachment process that could see her deposed from the country’s top political office.

“We are living in strange and worrying times, times of a coup and pretending and treachery…(On Monday) they used the pretense of a leak to give the order for the conspiracy,” declared Rousseff in reference to legislative leader Eduardo Cunha but also Vice President Michel Temer. She accused both men of organizing a coup to “destabilize a legitimately elected president.”

Rousseff did not directly name Temer, but her comments came following a recording purportedly leaked accidently where the person who would succeed her should she get ousted. On the tape he gives what would be his welcoming speech to Brazilians if he were to become president. Though he claimed that the message was only to be heard by advisors and doesn’t wish to “generate false expectations,” Rousseff was certainly not to pleased with the development.

“Like many Brazilians, it came to my knowledge and I confess I was shocked with the shamelessness of the farce of the ‘leak’…trying to disguise the announcement of a premature inauguration, underestimating the intelligence of Brazilians,” an irate Rousseff mentioned.

Both Temer and Cunha belong to the PMDB political party that recently dropped out of the ruling coalition led by Rousseff. They have also been implicated in the corruption scandals that have shaken Brazil’s political elite and could sink the Rousseff regime. (In fact, a Supreme Court judge on April 5th ordered impeachment proceedings to start against Temer).

In light of Rousseff’s finger pointing, a defiant Temer said that he is ready to assume the presidency if it reaches that stage. He also steadfastly rejected the coup allegations against him.

“I spent three weeks in Sao Paulo just to avoid being accused of any wrongdoing. Ultimately a political and personal war was waged against me…I’m not being a warmonger, I’m defending myself.”

What are the odds that Rousseff becomes removed from office and Temer rules in her place? A recent survey found that 60% of legislators would opt to impeach her, which falls just short of the 67% minimum needed to push the process to the Senate. Much like the PMDB, other coalition partners such as the Progressives have turned against her and will vote for impeachment.

Last month we looked at a poll that gave Marina Silva, the former environmental minister under embattled ex-president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and critic of Rousseff, the best chance of winning the 2018 presidential election. The results of a more recent survey was a mixed bag for Silva:
Former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (Workers' Party) and Marina Silva (Rede Sustentabilidade- Sustainability Network) currently lead opinion polls of voting intentions for the presidential elections in 2018…

According to the latest Datafolha poll, in three out of four potential situations investigated, Lula and Silva are tied within the statistical margin of error. In the other situation, Lula is ahead. 

Compared to the previous survey, in March, Lula's ratings improved in three of the potential situations, returning to his February levels. Silva's ratings are stable in all hypotheses.
YouTube Source – BBC News

Online Sources (English) –, Voice of America, Reuters, Bloomberg, The Globe and Mail, Deutsche Welle

Online Sources (Spanish) –, infobae

No comments: