Another constitutional coup?
Posted by Charles II on December 2, 2015
Jonathan Watts, The Guardian:
Brazil’s president Dilma Rousseff has begun the fight for her political life after the first impeachment proceedings for more than 20 years were launched against her in Congress.
After months of jockeying, the removal proceedings were pushed forward by her political nemesis – the lower house speaker Eduardo Cunha – ….
In a televised address to the nation, Rousseff expressed her “outrage” at Cunha’s decision and said there was no evidence of any wrongdoing by her.
“I do not have any accounts abroad,” she said, in a dig at Cunha who has bank accounts in Switzerland and is under investigation, accused of graft.
Activists from the ruling Workers Party accuse Cunha and his supporters of plotting a coup.
Earlier this year, Cunha acknowledged that an impeachment, which would be the first since 1992, would be a “backwards step for democracy”. For months, he has sat on more than half a dozen previous opposition proposals to remove an elected head of state who has served only one year of her four-year mandate.
However, he has changed his tone as his own position has come under threat. Julius Camargo, one of the whistle blowers in the Lava Jato investigation into corruption at oil giant Petrobras, has testified that the Cunha asked him for a $5m bribe – a claim that the speaker denies.
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