Latin America

Brazil’s Rousseff vows to fight impeachment move



Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has vowed to “fight to the end” what she described as a “special coup” against the country’s constitution.

Speaking at the International Workers’ Day (Labor Day) rally in Sao Paulo, Rousseff said that her opponents are “ripping up the constitution” and plotting to undo her policies.

Rousseff suffered a crushing defeat last month after losing a lower house vote that potentially put her just weeks away from being stripped of office.

Last month, Brazil’s lower chamber of Congress voted in favor of impeaching Rousseff, based on allegations that she manipulated fiscal rules in the lead-up to her 2014 reelection.

Rousseff, however, has rejected the allegations as politically-motivated, saying, “They have nothing to accuse me of. It is embarrassing.”

She told her supporters at the rally that if there is not base for an impeachment.

“A coup, and not just any coup, it is a very particular coup, it is not an armed coup, with tanks in the streets, it is not a military coup which we have seen in the past, it is a special coup, they tear our country’s constitution,” she said.

“This coup is not only against democracy and against my mandate, it also is against the achievements of workers,” she added.

Rousseff accused her opponents of plotting to weaken labor programs and cut social stipends for the poor if she is removed from the office.

“If they can do this to me, what will they do to working people?” she asked.

At the rally, the embattled president announced an increase in spending on her government’s social programs that have raised millions of Brazilians from poverty.

She also announced a three-year extension of the so-called More Doctors program that has deployed thousands of foreign doctors to low-income areas.

Brazil’s Senate is expected to vote by no later than May 17 on whether to hold an impeachment trial for Rousseff.

If the Senate votes to accept the case, Vice President Michel Temer will become Brazil’s acting president for a maximum of 180 days until a final verdict is reached.

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