Protests Erupt Over Coup Impeachment In Brazil
Above Photo: Dilma Rousseff | Photo: teleSUR
Brazilian Pro-Democracy Protesters Rally in Support of Rousseff
Protesters poured onto the streets again on Tuesday in 12 states and the Federal District to express their support of President Dilma Rousseff and their rejection to what they call the anti-democratic impeachment of the head of state.
Brazil was thrown into political chaos Monday after the new leader of the lower house of Congress, Waldir Maranhao, announced his decision to annul the impeachment process only to begin a new one that would have included Vice President Michel Temer.
The protesters, who are led by social movements and labor unions, are reportedly blocking highways in at least one location, according to Brazilian newspaper Globo.
Demonstrators have also set up barricades torching tires and tree branches, the news outlet added.
Rousseff Goes To High Court
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff took her battle to survive impeachment to the Supreme Court Tuesday, in a last-ditch attempt to prevent the Senate from ousting her on Wednesday for alleged violation of budget procedures.
Attorney General Eduardo Cardozo, the government’s top lawyer, asked the Supreme Court to annul impeachment proceedings, his office said.
Speaker Eduardo Maranhao on Monday had annulled a vote by the lower house due to “procedural flaws” in the April 17 vote that left the decision in the Senate’s hands. In a statement to the Senate, Maranhao did not cite any reason for backtracking the lower house’s decision.
If a simple majority agrees to put her on trial, Rousseff will be suspended from office on Thursday, leaving Vice President Michel Temer in power for up to six months during her trial.
If Rousseff is convicted and removed definitively, Temer would stay in the post until elections in 2018.
With the prospect looming of an end to 13 years of rule by Rousseff’s leftist Workers Party or PT, anti-impeachment protesters blocked roads with burning tires in demonstrations in Sao Paulo, the capital Brasilia and other cities, snarling morning traffic.
The PT and labor unions have called for a national strike to resist what they call a “coup” against democracy.
“President Dilma is determined to defend the Constitution because she was elected by the people and she will appeal to the Senate, the Supreme Court and Brazilian society,” Labor Minister Miguel Rossetto told reporters.
The legality of Rousseff’s imminent removal from office was questioned by the secretary general of the Organization of American States, Luis Almagro, who said he would seek the legal opinion of the Inter-American Human Rights Court.