After a months-long power struggle, brazil’s president dilma rousseff has been removed from office. Brasil’s senate voted with the necessary two-thirds majority to remove the first woman as head of the world’s fifth-largest country.
A total of 61 senators voted in favor and 20 against. His successor is the former vice president michel temer of the democratic movement party (PMDB), who will lead the country with a liberal-conservative government until the next election at the end of 2018.
Rousseff (68) has been accused of running a series of tricks to save the national deficit and of not having the congress’s approval for loans. But above all, she has been accused of not having a solution to the deep recession. In a first reaction, she stressed that 61 senators were forced out of office, although she was re-elected by 54.5 million people in 2014. "This is a parliamentary coup, with the help of a legal farce".
"This is the second coup d’etat i have had to experience in my life," she said, alluding to the 1964 military coup in brazil – at the time, rousseff acted as a guerrilla fighter in the underground, was imprisoned and tortured. Right-wing conservative deputy jair bolsonaro, on the other hand, tweeted in reference to rousseff and the left: "they lost in 1964 and they lost again in 2016.".
Temer’s PMDB coalition collapsed, and a coalition of the PMDB and opposition parties achieved the necessary majorities for the controversial impeachment process. In may, rousseff was initially suspended to investigate the charges, and in the last few days the legal process took place in the senate. Before the vote, the senators had explained their reasons for the vote in a marathon session lasting around 15 hours.
This means that the country is facing a change of policy after 13 years of left-wing government. But temer is not much more popular: he had no chance in elections, and because of illegal donations he is not allowed to stand as a candidate in elections for eight years anyway, according to a court decision. After the formal handover of office in congress, the senators wanted to travel to chinna for the G20 summit. In the senate, there were repeated delays due to new motions from the left-wing workers’ party – after the vote, there was jubilation, in brazil bullets could be heard, cars honked their horns.
During rousseff’s presidency, which began in 2011, the country slid into a deep recession, with 11.8 million people currently unemployed. One reason for the crisis is also the fall in commodity prices. In addition, corruption scandals have crippled the country and discredited the leftist project of the workers’ party launched in 2003 by president luiz inacio lula da silva.
Temer wants to lead the ninth-grown national economy out of the crisis with privatizations and cuts in the state apparatus – and initiate a change in policy. The workers’ party warns of a comeback of neoliberalism. The retirement age could be raised and social programs shortened. A debt brake is planned to get the deficit under control.
In brazil’s history, there had only been such a procedure once before. Like rousseff, fernando collor de mello was suspended in 1992. He was accused of corruption. Collor de mello, however, resigned before the senate vote. Today he is a senator and thus also belongs to the circle of "judges". Temer, more trusted in financial markets, seen by many as lesser evil. For the new elections desired by a majority as a way out, the hurdles in the constitution are high.