On Wednesday, Brazil’s senate voted to impeach Dilma Rousseff and remove her from office before the remainder of her term, which was set to expire in 2018. Rousseff, Brazil’s first female president, has been embroiled in a power struggle and plagued by corruption charges since she was suspended from her position to stand trial in May. According to the New York Times, “the Senate voted 61 to 20 to convict Ms. Rousseff on charges of manipulating the federal budget in an effort to conceal the nation’s mounting economic problems.”
Even before the corruption scandals — which the Times points out were to hide information, not to enrich herself — Rousseff was already a divisive figure in Brazil. Her poll numbers were extremely low, and opponents criticized her for arrogance, dishonesty, and corruption. As Antonio Riserio, a historian and cultural commentator, told the paper: “She simply lied through her teeth to get re-elected, forming a wave of national indignation. Upon perceiving that they voted for one person and elected another, the majority of the population started to want her head.”
Unfortunately, Rousseff’s ouster doesn’t look like it will do much to curb corruption by the Brazilian head of state. Michel Temer, who served as Rousseff’s vice president before leaving earlier this year, is acting as interim president and is expected to continue on in that role until the end of Rousseff’s term. Temer has shifted the government to the right, naming a cabinet “without any female or Afro-Brazilian ministers.” Some of the men Temer named have already “resigned in a cloud of scandal,” including, ironically, his anti-corruption minister.
(Via New York Times)