Rousseff defiant: “It’s not the end, but the start of the fight”
After suffering a monumental defeat in Congress, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, appeared in Brasilia to answer questions from reporters and to give her opinion on the process of impeachment she now faces.
She began by referring to the vote taken by the House of Deputies on Sunday night in Brasilia: “I didn’t see the discussion or action related to any crime that I might have committed”.
The Constitution protects the impeachment, of course, but protects it with certain specific causes.
There must be what in Brazil is described as a crime committed with intent. Dilma said that, regarding the accusations being levied against her, there is not proof of intent.
With her statement, Dilma accepts, for the first time, that she did commit a crime, although she clarifies that she had not intent in breaking the law.
Rousseff refers to accounting irregularities that accused her, of having resorted to obtaining loans from public banks to wipe away the budget deficit, a practice which, in the opinion of the president, has been carried out by former Brazilian presidents without having any legal consequences.
Rousseff’s point is that, if no one has ever been punished for committing the same crime that the Supreme Court sees as a reason to impeach her, she should not be held to a higher standard.
Rousseff added that, in any case, these practices were not intended for her to become rich illegally. She added, referring to the controversial president of the House, Eduardo Cunha, that he is indeed someone who should be fully investigated for having millions of Reais in suspicious bank accounts abroad.
Cunha has been accused of money laundering and accepting bribes by the prosecutor who is in charge of the Lava jato investigation. “I do not have money abroad, there is nothing of that against me “.
Then she referred to her second sworn enemy, Vice President Michel Temer, from the same party as Cunha, and a member of the Brazilian Democratic Movement (PMDB), an ally of Rousseff before.
Michel Temer is now one of the forces behind Dilma’s impeachment who would become the next seating president should Rousseff be ousted:
“In no democracy in the world can people respect a traitor”, she said about him.
Dilma added that she feels unfairly treated because in the fifteen months of her second term she has been unable to govern “with stability” due to the hostility of Congress, led by Cunha and Temer.
Perhaps the main question being raised about Rousseff after the congressional vote Sunday is whether she is willing to endure, to resist, to face a process that can be long and that the could take her from power for 180 days while the Senate analyzes the accusations against her.
When answering this question, Dilma showed herself as defiant as usual. While other experts predict that the president will resign if the Senate dismisses her, even temporarily, she says otherwise.
It is difficult to avoid the political damage that means getting out of the chair via the back door, expelled by Congress and the Senate, and stay around while her opponent becomes president with all the power, including naming ministers.
She seems to have it clear, however: “It is not the start of the end. We are at the beginning of the fight. I have courage and strength to confront this injustice. I will not abate.”
When asked whether she would support the convening of early elections to overcome the political crisis that drowns Brazil, she said that such a call would be like signing her resignation, and added that she has not yet studied it.
In the last 24 hours, voices inside the Worker’s Party have begun to weigh the possibility that Dilma calls for early elections so that Lula, her political godfather can run for the presidency once again.