Rio de Janeiro – Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff will face an impeachment vote set for Sunday in the lower house of parliament after spending the last days drumming up political and public support against her ousting.
On the political front, the government has fought for every vote in parliament to prevent a two-thirds majority from forming against the president, as cohesion within political factions is traditionally low in Brazil.
Additionally, Rousseff appealed to the Brazilian people in a video message, warning that her impeachment would likely lead to cuts in social programmes.
Rousseff has been under pressure to resign for months, accused of hiding the extent of the budget deficit during her re-election campaign at the end of 2014.
Rousseff’s approval ratings, currently at only 10 per cent, have also been battered by recession as the resource-dependent economy took hits from a bust in commodities markets and slowing global economy.
If two-thirds of the lower house of parliament vote for the impeachment process against Rousseff to go forward in Sunday’s vote, and that vote is followed by a simple majority in the Senate, Rousseff would be suspended for 180 days.
That could mean she won’t be able to open the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro on August 5.
During the her suspension, the charges against her would be legally examined, and Vice President Michel Temer would serve as president.
In October, the Senate could vote to dismiss her by a two-thirds majority and, if that happens, Temer would remain president until the end of 2018.
On Saturday, protests erupted in several cities, both for and against Rousseff.