Brazilian President Impeached


Lauren Lombardi '18, Writer

Just weeks after the Olympics ended in Rio Brazil, president Dilma Rousseff was impeached by Congress. The process lasted five months with multiple votes taken by Congress and more specifically the Senate. Ms. Rousseff was accused of moving around funds in the government in order to make herself look better in the 2014 election which she won. Even though she was not taking the money for herself, she was taking funds and transferring them to social reforms to make her seem more sympathetic to the people. In total there were four votes over the half year period that complete the impeachment process of the former president. Many of the votes required a two-thirds majority and all of them easily surpassed that number.

Rousseff denied all charges against her, saying that all her predecessors had done the same or similar things with the Brazilian budget. She further stated that the continued pursuit of her impeachment was led by those trying to overthrow her and that it would further corrupt the government. The man leading her impeachment was Eduardo Cunha, former Speaker of the House and part of Rousseff’s opposing party. However, even people in Ms. Rousseff’s party are having trouble, such as Michel Temer who is acting president but is under speculation because of allegations of corruption.

I was able to communicate with a contact in Sao Paulo. Sao Paulo is Brazil’s largest city with 11.1 million people living in it and is located in the southern quarter of Brazil off the coast. At age 16, my contact and friend Isabella Perrezorro knows many things about Brazilian law in action with her father being a successful lawyer in the city. I was able to communicate with her through the best mode of communication for people our age, Snapchat. When asked about the general feelings on the subject for most Brazilians, she replied that most were sad and disappointed in their countries politicians because it shows that there must be many in the government still participating in corruption. However, she also remarked that “it makes me happy, since it means that the people are finally realising the political situation of our country,” meaning that the general public is acknowledging the corruption and wanting to do something about it.

The country was overwhelmingly happy when Rousseff was impeached because in the last three years her approval rating had dropping 69% to only 10% of the country supporting her in a May 2016 poll. Now Rousseff’s vice president Michel Temer is serving as acting president for the remainder of her term until 2019. It is unclear what will happen in the next election but one can be assured with all the talk about corruption in Brazil the next presidential election will focus on noncorrupt officials and who is really advocating for the people and not just their own political agendas.