Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff delivers a speech during the Education in Defense of Democracy event, at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, on April 12, 2016. ©AFP
’s Supreme Court has thrown out a motion by the government meant to stop an impeachment process against President Dilma Rousseff in the Congress.
Rousseff’s attorney general, Jose Eduardo Cardozo, had filed the request with the Supreme Court on Thursday in order to obtain an injunction which could avert an impeachment vote against the president at the lower house of the Congress.
But the court rejected the request early on Friday, paving the way for the lower house of Congress to decide in a Sunday session whether to send the embattled president on an impeachment trial.
The possible approval of the vote would give the Senate the authority to open a trial against Rousseff.
A general view of a session of the Brazilian Supreme Court to decide on a request to stop the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff, April 14, 2016 ©AFP
Rousseff’s government stands accused of violating fiscal rules to promote her 2014 re-election campaign. The pro-impeachment camp needs 342 votes or two-thirds of the 513 votes in the chamber to send the proceedings to the Senate for the trial.
The president is also under fire over a graft scandal at the state oil company Petrobras, where she was the manager before taking office as president in 2010.
Recently, she further angered the opposition by giving her predecessor and ally Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva — who is himself implicated in the corruption case — a top position in the cabinet. Opponents say the move is aimed at granting him immunity from prosecution.
However, Rousseff has denied the allegations against her as politically-motivated, vowing not to back down.
If the Senate finds her guilty, she would be forced to leave office. Vice President Temer would serve Rousseff’s term until 2018 if she is voted out of office.
Scores of lawmakers who formerly supported Rousseff have turned against her, saying they will definitely vote for the impeachment. Some parties have also left Rousseff’s coalition government and joined theBrazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB) of Temer.
A presidential source said on Thursday Rousseff held a meeting earlier in the day with ministers and some of the lawmakers still loyal to her. No immediate reports came out of the closed-door talks.