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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 8/18/16

The real reasons behind Dilma Rousseff's impeachment

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Dilma Rousseff
Dilma Rousseff
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Brazil's Senate voted on August 10, 2016 to hold an impeachment trial for the nation's suspended president Dilma Rousseff, a process that could see her permanently removed from office. The vote in favor of trying Rousseff, who was suspended from the presidency in May, was 59 in favor, 21 against.

The Senate suspended Rousseff, the South American nation's first female president, on May 12 over accusations of illegal accounting practices and fiddling the budget to mask a slumping economy.

Rousseff, 68, has likened the impeachment drive to a putsch by her political enemies.

The impeachment trial is set to open around August 25 - four days after the Olympics closing ceremony - and is expected to last five days, concluding with a Senate judgment vote.

David Miranda of Guardian wrote in April last that Corruption is just the pretext for a wealthy elite who failed to defeat Brazil's president at the ballot box.

Citing the New York Times article of April 14, 2016, Miranda wrote: "60% of the 594 members of Brazil's Congress" -- the ones voting to impeach Rousseff -- "face serious charges like bribery, electoral fraud, illegal deforestation, kidnapping and homicide".

By contrast, said the article, Rousseff "is something of a rarity among Brazil's major political figures: she has not been accused of stealing for herself".

Simon Romero and Vinod Sreeharsha of The New York Times quoted Mario Sergio Conti, a columnist for the newspaper Folha de S. Paulo as saying: "She didn't steal, but a gang of thieves is judging her."

The New York Times provided detail of some of the corrupt Brazilian politicians who enjoy immunity because of their seat in Congress. The paper pointed out that the sweeping legal protections are enjoyed by about 700 senior officials, including cabinet ministers and every member of Congress.

Brazil's corrupt politicians as named by the New York Times

- Eduardo Cunha, the powerful speaker of the lower house who is leading the impeachment effort, is going on trial at the country's highest court, the Supreme Federal Tribunal, on charges that he pocketed as much as $40 million in bribes.

- Vice President Michel Temer, who takes over when Ms. Rousseff was forced to step aside, has been accused of involvement in an illegal ethanol purchasing scheme.

- Renan Calheiros, the Senate leader, who is also on the presidential succession chain, is under investigation over claims that he received bribes in the giant scandal surrounding the national oil company, Petrobras. He has also been accused of tax evasion and of allowing a lobbyist to pay child support for a daughter from an extramarital affair.

- Ms. Rousseff's opponents in Congress include Ã"degreesder Mauro, who is facing charges of torture and extortion from his previous stint as a police officer in Belem, a crime weary city in the Amazon.

- Another congressman aiming to impeach Ms. Rousseff: Beto Mansur, who is charged with keeping 46 workers at his soybean farms in Goiàs State in conditions so deplorable that investigators say the laborers were treated like modern day slaves.

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Author and journalist. Author of Islamic Pakistan: Illusions & Reality; Islam in the Post-Cold War Era; Islam & Modernism; Islam & Muslims in the Post-9/11 America. Currently working as free lance journalist. Executive Editor of American (more...)
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