Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Opposition brings down Rousseff, but can it lift Brazil?

18 April 2016, 11:25

Rio de Janeiro-Firing confetti, singing and cheering, Brazilian opposition politicians were in party mood after voting to authorize an impeachment trial of President Dilma Rousseff. But the hangover looks painful.

Sunday's vote by the lower house of Congress to send Rousseff to the Senate for an impeachment trial left her just two steps from being forced out of office.

As early as next month, the Senate could launch impeachment proceedings, at which point Rousseff, only in the second year of her second mandate, would have to step temporarily aside.

She could still survive the ensuing trial, but most analysts say the Senate would surely follow the lower house lead and drive her out -- permanently.

No wonder Rousseff opponents grinned on Sunday as they raised placards up to television cameras reading: "Goodbye sweetie."

Revenge scenario

The immediate winner is Rousseff's vice president, Michel Temer, who has become her leading opponent and under the constitution would take power the moment a Senate trial started.

Temer clearly sees himself as a president in waiting, even accidentally releasing a recording of himself practicing his first speech to the nation.

But the reality of the top job might not be so attractive.

Deeply unpopular with most Brazilians, the unelected Temer would face a credibility problem.

Analysts say the constitutional lawyer and his PMDB party would find themselves facing a bitter, vengeful opposition if Rousseff were forced out by the Senate.

And that would be before he even tried to address the structural problems at the heart of Brazil's worst recession for decades -- a slide that has transformed Latin America's biggest economy from emerging markets darling into investment horror story.


"The crisis will continue. In fact it will become even more serious because the losing side will use all instruments at its disposal to block the winners. Brazil will wake up worse tomorrow," independent political analyst Andre Cesar told AFP.

Temer has talked of establishing a national unity coalition, but "this will not be easy. It will be a nightmare," Cesar said.

Diego Werneck, at the Getulio Vargas Foundation, a think tank, pointed out that Temer may even find himself fighting to stay in power.

Allies of Rousseff have lodged an impeachment petition against him, alleging that he is just as involved as Rousseff in the allegedly illegal accounting practices that are at the base of the case against her.

Although impeachment proceedings would be unlikely to move quickly -- Temer's close ally Eduardo Cunha is in charge as speaker of the lower house -- they would dog him.

Possibly more seriously, Temer is named along with Rousseff as a target of a case at the Supreme Electoral Court contending that their 2014 election ticket was partly funded by bribe money. In theory, the court could declare the elections void and call new polls, stripping Temer of his post.

No end to crisis

The most immediate hurdle, though, would be governing such a fractured nation.

Rousseff has ended up almost powerless inside her presidential palace as relations with Congress break down and her personal popularity plummets, leading to huge street demonstrations.

Temer, analysts say, would risk some of the same problems.

His PMDB is a mishmash of ideologies and has always played a kingmaking role, not even presenting a presidential candidate since 1994. With potential partners also eying 2018, when the next elections are scheduled, alliances might prove fragile.

Temer's "eventual government will be in a better position than Rousseff's but still with a lot of complications," Werneck said.

Sylvio Costa, who heads the specialist politics website Congresso en Foco, told AFP that Rousseff was nearly sure to go, but that more trouble lies ahead.

"Whoever loses will keep protesting in the streets," he said. "What's certain is that the crisis will not end today."



Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
Apologise for attack on Auditor G...

Apologise for attack on Auditor General, President Uhuru Kenyatta is told by Kisumu Senator Anyang Nyong'o. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
Quit if you can't fight corruptio...

An MP has told President Uhuru Kenyatta to quit office if he cannot fight corruption. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
Investigate Uhuru, Ruto for corru...

Investigate President Uhuru Kenyatta and DP William Ruto's offices over corruption, CORD leader Raila Odinga has said. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Its a 1 horse race to State House...

Its a 1 horse race to State House, DP William Ruto has mocked the CORD Coalition. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Enjoy your time left in power, We...

CORD Co Principal Moses Wetangu'la has told the Jubilee Coalition to enjoy its last few months in power before it is voted out in the 2017 elections. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Stop hiding in State House and sa...

ODM MP's have called on President Uhuru Kenyatta to release drought aid and to stop sitting on public funds. Read more...