’s President Dilma Rousseff has accused supporters of her impeachment of trying to grab power in order to avoid corruption charges against themselves, saying the country faces the threat of a coup d’état.
In a video and a newspaper column published on Saturday, Rousseff strongly denied she had committed an impeachable crime, saying the parliamentary bid to oust her from power is the biggest legal and political fraud in Brazil’s history.
“We are facing the threat of a coup d’état, a coup without guns that uses more destructive methods like fraud and lies to try to destroy a legitimately elected government,” Rousseff, Brazil’s first female president, wrote in the Folha de S. Paulo newspaper.
Rousseff accused Vice President Michel Temer and House Speaker Eduardo Cunha of leading a conspiracy against her.
Lower House lawmakers are due to vote on Sunday on whether to call for an impeachment. 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 a possible trial. Then a simple majority among the senators would see Rousseff out of power.
The presidential office said Saturday that Rousseff would continue talks with legislators to convince them to vote against the impeachment.
Reports said the Brazilian president canceled an appearance at an anti-impeachment rally earlier in the day in order to meet with lawmakers behind closed doors.
During the rally, which was led by former president and Rousseff’s predecessor Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, supporters called for the ouster of Cunha, the political archenemy of Rousseff, who has sped up the impeachment process.
Opponents accuse Rousseff of manipulating budget accounts to boost her re-election prospects in 2014. She has denied the charges.