Support for Dilma Rousseff plunges to historical low
Despite low support for her government Rousseff remains defiant: “I am strong and can stand attacks and injustices”.
The president of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, is one step closer to the precipice. The political crisis that threatens her government is advancing rapidly since taking office for a second time in January and now, besides maneuvering strategies to neutralize her political enemies that are challenging her mandate, she has to face the rebellion of her own cohorts.
The fragility of Rousseff’s Government was exposed again early on Thursday during a prolonged session of Congress. With an overwhelming majority, MPs, including members of the Workers Party (PT) and the allied base, voted in favor of increasing the salaries in the public sector.
The measure, if finally approved, represents an annual expenditure of $2.4 billion reais and will be major setback to the austerity policy that was announced the president, who now deals with the largest economic contraction in 25 years.
With this defeat, Rousseff witnesses the dissolution of her political base with no known strategies and the Petrobras scandal marking the country’s public agenda.
Even former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is pessimistic. The PT, says Lula, will not heal the wounds of the Petrobras case even if an economic recovery takes place.
The partners of the president turned their backs on the requests made by the government. Representatives reinforced, again, the main enemy of Rousseff: Congress President Eduardo Cunha, from the allied Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB). Cunha is also being investigated in the corruption scandal at Petrobras.
It did not help that the Vice President, Michel Temer, also of the PMDB, asked deputies for the unification of the country: “We will not ignore the situation because it is fairly serious. There is a political crisis taking place, there is an economic crisis that needs to be addressed, but for all that it needs the Congress “.
Rousseff remains defiant and says she will not fall. In an election announcement of her party broadcast on national radio and television, the president conveyed a message: “I will stand pressure and injustice… I’m on your side. This is my way, I will continue. “
The protests with pans and utensils accompanied by insults and shouting during Rousseff’s speech is an example of defiance that is reflected in the streets. In the latest popularity poll, made by the Datafolha Institute, the president exceeded the worst rates of disapproval achieved by former President Fernando Collor, who is now a deputy and who is also being investigated in the Petrobras scandal.
Of all respondents, 71% rated the president as poor or very poor, it is 6% worse than just over a month ago.
New public demonstrations are expected on August 16 all over the country. Those demonstrations will be diverse. While some people will call for Dilma’s impeachment, others will protest against the ongoing corruption.
The outcome of this crisis is uncertain, but Rousseff has never been so weakened politically.
In addition to all her problems, Dilma is also facing a separate investigation for alleged irregularities in government accounting last year, which is already a powerful weapon for those who demand the departure of the president.
Congress, led by an enraged Cunha, seems to not be interested in a truce. In the parliamentary agenda there are another proposals which aim to increase public spending and further complicate the Rousseff administration.