Suspended Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff pleads innocent, calls Senate trial coup

August 29, 2016 9:30 pm

Suspended answers to questions during her impeachment trial, at the National Congress in Brasilia, on August 29, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

Suspended Brazilian president has denied all corruption charges against her, calling her impeachment trial a coup.
Rousseff made the remarks before the Senate on Monday, saying the allegations against her have no merit and that her removal from power will not be justified.
“I know I will be judged, but my conscience is clear. I did not commit a crime… I did not commit the crimes for which I have been accused unjustly and arbitrarily,” she said.
Rousseff described the accusations as “a pretext for a constitutional coup,” and told Brazilian lawmakers that she had followed the constitution and done what was best for the country.
“The future of is at stake,” the 68-year-old said, adding that ’s democracy is being jeopardized to protect the interests of the country’s privileged classes and “the economic elite.”
The Brazilian Senate voted last week to hold an impeachment trial for Rousseff.
Rousseff’s allies believe she is being made a scapegoat by the country’s corrupt politicians implicated in a graft scheme at state oil company Petrobras.
They believe the impeachment of the leftist leader is a bid to muddy the waters and create confusion about the Petrobras scandal. 
Meanwhile, hundreds of Rousseff’s supporters staged a rally outside the Senate building in the capital, Brasilia, on Monday to show solidarity with the suspended president.

Supporters of suspended Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff protest in front of Brazil’s congress during the final session of debate and voting on Rousseff’s impeachment trial in Brasilia, Brazil on August 29, 2016. (Photo by Reuters)

A two-thirds majority of the Senate, or 54 votes, would be needed to see Rousseff permanently removed from office.
If the trial acquits Rousseff, she will be allowed to serve out her term until 2018. But if she is removed permanently, then interim president Michel Temer will become the full-fledged president until the next election in 2018.
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