The world’s eyes are once again facing Brazil. Amid corruption scandals and political and economic crises, the process to impeach of Dilma Rousseff has begun. The impeachment case against President Rousseff was officially opened once Eduardo Cunha, President of the Chamber of Deputies accepted the application. Once representatives of the Brazilian Workers’ Party, the party of the president, confirmed they were behind it, Dilma Rousseff’s fate was sealed. Eduardo Cunha himself is currently being investigated under bribery charges, relating to payments made in Switzerland.
Fiddling the figures
Dilma Rousseff’s government is accused of breaking the Fiscal Responsibility Law. In order to meet fiscal targets during an election year, Rousseff’s government is suspected of deploying less than legal methods. The National Treasury would delay transfers to the public and private financial institutions that finance government spending, including social and pension benefits. In 2015, the government’s economic team admitted these improprieties, and started to correct them. However, the damage to President Rousseff has already been done.
A long process
The impeachment process is not quick. The application must be reviewed by a special commission formed by representatives of all parties. The president will have a deadline to defend herself against charges. The commission will give a recommendation in favour or against the opening of the impeachment procedure. Once this is cleared, the case goes to the parliament. If two thirds of the Chamber of Deputies decide in favour of impeachment, then President Rousseff will be forced to step down for 180 days, and the process will proceed to the Senate trial.
Calls for Rousseff’s removal are not recent. Thousands have rallied in recent months to call for her resignation. With the impeachment process underway, many thousands have taken to the streets to support Rousseff’s impeachment. A long history of corruption scandals, dating back to the Petrobas scandal before she entered politics, threaten to topple her reign. Brazil is engulfed in a political crisis, with the government divided between supporters of Rousseff, and those who wish to see her ousted. With the Supreme Court suspension of the process coming to an end on the 16th of December, Rousseff must act fast if she is to convince her fellow politicians that she should be cleared of all wrongdoing. With a history of impropriety, and mounting public pressure, it seems increasingly likely that Rousseff’s reign will soon come to an end.