March 22 2016
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff issued a statement denouncing impeachment efforts by right-wing Brazilian lawmakers.
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff Tuesday denounced the ongoing to attempts by right-wing opposition lawmakers to remove her from power, referring to the ongoing impeachment efforts as an “assault against democracy.”
An assault on democracy
“What is happening right now represents an assault against democracy. Therefore, I will never resign.” President Rousseff declared during a press conference.
In the impeachment case, Rousseff is accused of manipulating the government’s accounts to boost public spending and hide the magnitude of the recession.
Rousseff also called on Brazil’s Supreme Court to remain impartial in the political dispute and said the authorized release of a wiretap of a telephone conversation of hers was a violation of the country’s constitution and national security.
Rousseff made her comments during an event at the Presidential Palace, which included the presence of lawyers and judicial officials, who oppose the current legal efforts to have President Rousseff removed from power.
Illegality and unconstitutionality
During the event, former federal judge and current mayor of the northeastern state of Maranhao Flavio Dino issued a keynote address in which he accused members of the Brazilian judiciary of committing “judicial overreach and partisanship.”
Legal expert and professor from the University of Brasilia, Marcelo Neves, also criticized the argument made by many opposition lawmakers that former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is trying to avoid legal prosecution in money laundering charges currently being presented against him in Brazilian courts by accepting a Cabinet ministry position with Dilma Rousseff.
“Neither judges nor ministers are above the law and the constitution. Therefore, there is no opposition to legal action waged against corruption. Instead, we are opposing the bias, illegality and unconstitutionality of these operations,” Neves stated.
Under Brazilian law, the Supreme Court can order the investigation, imprisonment or trial of a government minister. In other words, becoming a member of the government will not provide Lula with protection from possible prosecution.
Meanwhile, shortly after the event, it was announced that Brazilian Supreme Court Justice Rosa Weber upheld a decision barring Lula from taking the ministry post in the President Rousseff’s administration.