After being notified of the Senate's decision to remove her from office, President Dilma Rousseff delivered two speeches Thursday morning (May 12). The word “coup” was heard several times in both addresses in reference to the impeachment effort against her.
Surrounded by congresspeople, former cabinet members, and senior officials inside the Palácio do Planalto, the seat of the Brazilian government, the ousted president admitted she may have made mistakes, but stressed she committed no crime, and that she is falling victim to the “most brutal act that can be perpetrated.”
“I committed no impeachable crime. I have no bank accounts overseas, and never have I colluded in corruption schemes. This is a flimsy, judicially inconsistent, and unjust case, set up against someone honest and innocent. It is the most brutal act that can be perpetrated against any human being: to punish them for a crime they did not commit,” she said.
In her speech, interrupted by applause and shouts of support, Rousseff noted she was elected by 54 million Brazilians, and said there is more at stake than just her mandate.
“What's at stake is not only my mandate. It's the respect for the ballot box, the sovereign will of the people, and the Constitution. They're the achievements of the last 13 years. What's at stake is the protection of children and young people going to universities and vocational schools. What's at stake is the future of the country, the hope to make more and more progress. I wish once again to clarify facts and denounce the risks facing a country with a fraudulent impeachment case. A veritable coup-d'état,” she declared.
Rousseff went on to point out that, ever since she was elected, part of the nonconforming opposition made a number of attempts against her government, like requesting a vote recount, trying to annul the elections, and subsequently starting to blatantly plot her impeachment. “They've thrown Brazil into a sea of instability and prevented the economy from recovering in a bid to take by force what they were unable to achieve through the ballot box,” she argued.
Leaving the presidential palace
As soon as her address was over, Rousseff walked out of the Palácio do Planalto and was hailed by thousands of demonstrators waiting on the avenue outside the seat of the government. In her second speech, she once again highlighted that she did not commit any crimes and likened the impeachment process to a coup.
“Our democracy is being targeted by a coup. I committed no impeachable crime. I'm being the target and the victim of a massive act of injustice,” she added, this time standing next to her predecessor, former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
“Those who were defeated in the elections are now trying to take the reins of the country by force,” Rousseff stated. She was removed from office this morning, and may remain suspended for up to 180 days after the Senate voted 55-22 to put her on trial.
Translated by Fabrício Ferreira
Fonte: Agência Brasil.