Brazil political crisis escalates as party pulls out of coalition. Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff has come closer to being impeached by the Congress as her allies have left the coalition. The Brazilian Democratic Movement Party(PMDB) has announced that they are no longer cooperating with Pres. Rousseff.
The PMDB has pulled their six government ministers and informed their party members that they must leave all government appointments or face ethics charges.
There are a series of incidents that have brought the country and more particularly Rousseff to this point. The biggest scandal is that surrounding the government owned petroleum corporation –Petroleo Brasileiro – which has nearly two billion dollars unaccounted for. Many believe it is in the pockets of Rousseff and friends.
The former president was able to name the board members sitting on the petroleum company. Pres. Roussoff was on the board. The investigation into the missing money had the former president in for questioning. Roussoff tried to have him appointed to a government position so that he would be immune from prosecution, but was thwarted in that move.
Now the congress may impeach her. If they don’t the Brazilian Bar Association (OAB) filed a request to impeach on Monday on the grounds that she obstructed justice and used fiscal accounting tricks. If that request doesn’t fly, they OAB has filed a second request regarding Rousoff’s granting of tax exempt status to FIFA during the 2014 World Cup.
If it comes to a parliamentary vote, with the departure of the PMDB from the coalition, it is unlikely that Rousseff can garner enough votes to thwart the ouster. The vote to impeach is likely to be held in April and if successful, will be before the Senate by May.
If the president is ousted, the VP will take over the office.
The political turmoil comes as a particularly bad time for Brazil which is slated to hold the 2016 Olympics in August. Controversy has swirled around the filthy conditions of the water sports venues. Because of the recession budgets have been slashed. The country is mired in the worst recession in a generation due to the low petroleum prices(and the disappearance of billions of dollars). The Zika virus has also created a nation wide health crisis.
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