Brazil leader Rousseff vows to fight on


Brazil’s beleaguered President Dilma Rousseff has told reporters she is an “innocent victim” and she will fight on as possible impeachment looms.

She vowed to “keep fighting… to come back to government if the impeachment request is accepted”.

Ms Rousseff is accused of manipulating government accounts, which she denies.

The Senate will decide whether to start an impeachment trial next week. If that happens she will be suspended from office for 180 days.

Recent polls conducted by Brazil’s major newspapers suggest that a majority of the 81 senators will vote in favour of the trial.

In the wide-ranging interview with the BBC’s Wyre Davies, President Rousseff also said:

  • “not enough efforts” had been made to tackle corruption in Brazil, but “the degree of effectiveness” increased during her administration
  • receiving the Olympic torch for the Rio 2016 Games was a “bittersweet moment”, as there was no certainty that she would attend the summer event as president
  • torture in prison under the military government in the 1970s was common practice, reliving her three years of incarceration

“Yes, I believe, indeed, that I am a victim. And, of course, yes I am innocent. And at the same time, I am an innocent victim,” Ms Rousseff said.

“What we in the government believe and what my supporters believe is that the ongoing impeachment process is illegitimate and illegal.

“Because it is ultimately based on a lie, i.e. an indirect election under the guise of an impeachment process.”

And the president stressed: “What we will do is to resist, to resist, and to resist. And further fight to ensure that we will come out victorious on a merit basis and resume office.”

Ms Rousseff is accused of manipulating budget figures in 2014 to make her government’s economic performance appear better than it was – ahead of her re-election.

The president has defended her government’s fiscal measures as common practice in Brazil.

Last month, the lower house of Brazil’s Congress comfortably approved starting impeachment proceedings against her.

The Senate is expected to vote on the issue next week.

If she is impeached, Vice-President Michel Temer will take over as interim president.

Ms Rousseff has accused him of being one of the ringleaders of the “coup” attempt against her.

Last month, a Supreme Court judge ordered the lower house of Congress to create a commission to analyse whether impeachment proceedings against Mr Temer should go ahead over allegations that he manipulated government accounts to hide a growing deficit.

Mr Temer rejects the accusations.




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