Brazilians take to streets to protest Rousseff impeachment process

Brasilia, May 11 (IANS) Supporters of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff took to the streets to protest an impeachment process against her, blocking roads and public transport systems in at least 13 states and the Federal District.

The protests came a day before the Senate votes on whether to start the impeachment process and temporarily remove Rousseff from her position over charges of breaking budget laws.


Apart from the Federal District, the protests also staged in the states of Bahia, Ceara, Espirito Santo, Maranhao, Minas Gerais, Paraiba, Parana, Pernambuco, Piaui, Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande do Norte, Rio Grande do Sul and Sao Paulo.

The protests were organized by Brazil People’s Front, which is made up of 60 social organisations.

The organisers said the impeachment process represents a “coup d’etat against Brazil and the Brazilian people, as well as a lack of respect for the citizen’s vote.”

The president of Brazil’s Unified Workers’ Central, Vagner Freitas, said that the impeachment is aimed at bringing in a new government headed by Vice President Michel Temer to remove historic rights from workers.

The full Senate will vote on whether to begin the impeachment process against Rousseff on Wednesday.

If the motion is approved, Rousseff will be temporarily removed from office for up to 180 days, leaving Vice President Temer to take over as interim president during her trial.

Injunction issued to halt Rousseff’s impeachment

Brasilia, May 11 (IANS) Brazil’s attorney general has issued an injunction to cancel President Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment process.

Under the Brazilian law, such an injunction must be analysed by one of the 11 Supreme Court judges, randomly appointed in order to avoid bias, Xinhua news agency reported.

In this case, the judge to analyse the injunction will be Teori Zavascki, who, last week, ruled that House speaker Eduardo Cunha should be suspended from office for trying to coerce other congressmen and hinder investigations against him.

Zavascki’s office said he will analyse the case overnight and announce his decision on Wednesday.

In the injunction issued on Tuesday, Attorney General Jose Eduardo Cardozo argued that there were vices in the process.

In the very beginning of the case, Cunha repeatedly said that the impeachment requests filed in the House lacked legal basis, until the ruling Workers’ Party declined to support him over a corruption case in the House Ethics Committee.

Then he suddenly changed his mind and turned for an immediate impeachment process.

Cardozo said that Cunha clearly started the impeachment process in a vendetta after his attempt to blackmail the government failed, and that the partiality continued with the choice of Representative Jovair Arantes as the rapporteur of the process.

Cardozo accuses Arantes of preparing a biased report in favour of the impeachment in exchange for Cunha’s support in the next election for House speaker.

According to the attorney general, the entire session must be cancelled for it was the result of abuse of power.

Earlier this week, the new interim House speaker, Waldir Maranhao, accepted an appeal made by Cardozo and decided to cancel the House voting, which decided for the start of the impeachment process.

However, the Senate insisted on proceeding with the vote.

Under political pressure, Maranhao announced on Tuesday morning a decision to annul the cancellation.

If the impeachment motion is approved, Rousseff will be temporarily removed from office for up to 180 days, leaving Vice President Michel Temer to take over as interim president during her trial.

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