An unpopular president
Dilma Rousseff of Brazil is not a very popular president. The latest polls assess her approval ratings to be 8 percent. This rating ranks her as Brazil’s most unpopular president since the advent of democratic civilian rule in 1985. Her rule has been controversial since the start. Recently, Rousseff accused Brazilian opposition politicians of attempting to overthrow her, accusing them of ‘coup-mongering’. But a little critical rhetoric from the opposition is the least of Rousseff’s problems. However, it will take little more for the house of cards to come tumbling down. BRIC Plus News tells you all you need to know about Rousseff’s political problems, and why she is perhaps past the point of no return.
Dilma Rousseff’s presidential rule was marred long before she even entered the political arena. A previous career, and controversy surrounding her actions at the time, were always lurking behind the surface. Petrobras is an oil corporation owned by the Brazillian government. Rousseff was chairwoman from 2003 until 2010, when the allegations of malpractice have been dated to. The Petrobras Scandal struck right to the heart of Brazil’s political establishment. Allegations of kickbacks, and the payment of some $800m to politically-appointed Petrobas executives from engineering and construction firms sent shivers rippling through the Brazilian body politic. The arrest of the treasurer of the ruling Brazilian Workers’ Party brought to the forefront the probable complicity of President Rousseff. As a result, protests erupted in Brazil, calling to impeach the president. Some even took advantage of the traditional Independence Day parades to call for an end to the presidency.
[via Romania TV]
A government divided
Brazil’s government is already a fragile coalition made up of 9 political parties. At the head is Dilma Rousseff’s Brazilian Workers’ Party, which at 70 has the single largest number of seats, in the governing coalition of 304. The sheer number of parties with competing visions already makes this a fractious administration. The implementation of contentious economic policy has caused a split within the Brazilian Workers’ Party, threatening an already weak working majority. The decision of President Rousseff to introduce a raft of spending cuts signalled to many within the left-wing party that she was spearheading a betrayal of their principles. In the eyes of many, this was tantamount to political treason.
A matter of time
It is a question of when, and not if, President Rousseff’s administration comes to a close. Rousseff faces dissent from all sides. Public protests show the level of popular discontent in her leadership. Disputes and schisms within the ruling coalition are frequent and unavoidable. The Brazilian Workers Party has only a 4 seat lead over its coalition partner, the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party. Only a few defections or resignations stand in between the current arrangement and a coalition with Democratic Movement in the lead. Rousseff’s days are numbered, and many are counting the hours.