'Practical World' True News Magazine by American Road Radio

'Practical World' True News Magazine by American Road Radio
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TOP STORY:Brazil's president Dilma Rousseff loses legal battle and could face impeachment

Brazil's president Dilma Rousseff loses legal battle and could face impeachment.

Brazil’s president, Dilma Rousseff, could face impeachment. Photograph:Eraldo Peres/AP
Brazil’s besieged president, Dilma
Rousseff, has lost a major battle after the federal audit court rejected her
government’s accounts from 2014, paving the way for her opponents to try to
impeach her.
Related: Brazilian president
Dilma Rousseff cuts her salary by 10% to aid economy
In a unanimous vote the federal accounts court, known as the TCU, ruled
Rousseff’s government manipulated its accounts in 2014 to disguise a widening
fiscal deficit as she campaigned for re-election.
The ruling, the TCU’s first against a Brazilian president in nearly 80 years,
is not legally binding but will be used by opposition lawmakers to argue for
impeachment proceedings against the unpopular leftist leader in an increasingly
hostile congress.
Opposition leaders hugged and cheered when the ruling was announced in
Congress, though it was not clear how quickly they would move or whether they
have enough support to impeach the president.
“This establishes that they doctored fiscal accounts, which is an
administrative crime and President Rousseff should face an impeachment vote,”
said Carlos Sampaio, leader of the opposition PSDB party in the lower house.
“It’s the end for the Rousseff government,” said Rubens Bueno, a congressman
from the PPS party. He said the opposition has the votes to start proceedings in
the lower house though perhaps not the two-thirds majority needed for an
impeachment trial in the senate.
In a last-ditch bid to win time, the government had asked the supreme court
to delay Wednesday’s ruling, but it refused.
In a further setback for Rousseff, the TCU rejected a request by attorney
general Luís Inacio Adams to remove the judge auditing the 2014 accounts for
publicly declaring weeks ago he planned to find them invalid.
Adams said the government would appeal to the supreme court to overthrow the
audit decision.
Earlier on Wednesday, Rousseff’s government failed to get enough support in
Congress to back her efforts to rebalance Brazil’s public accounts. Rousseff is
also reeling from a ruling on Tuesday that cleared the way for a separate
investigation on alleged irregularities in her re-election campaign last year.
Congress put off for a fourth time a session on whether to back or overturn
her vetoes of two spending bills after her government was unable to obtain a
quorum despite a cabinet reshuffle last week meant to bolster her support.
“It’s as if the government has ceased to exist,” said congressman Pauderney
Avelino of the opposition Democrats party.
The postponement highlighted Rousseff’s political isolation as she struggles
to stave off impeachment efforts amid a widening corruption scandal and Brazil’s
deepest recession in 25 years.
The bills Rousseff vetoed would raise public spending by 63bn reals ($16.4bn)
over the next four years and include a hefty 78% increase in salaries of
judiciary employees and a raise in payments for retirees.
The congressional setback calls into question her ability to raise taxes to
plug a widening budget gap that led Standard & Poor’s rating agency to strip
Brazil of
its investment-grade rating in September.
Backed by a commodities boom, Brazil’s economy posted several years of strong
growth that pulled millions of people out of poverty. But the boom ended after
Rousseff came to power in 2011, hit by weaker international prices for its
products and her government’s interventionist policies. Uncertainty over
Rousseff’s ability to survive the political crisis and pull Brazil out of an
economic tailspin has driven down its currency, the real, to its weakest ever
The only good news Rousseff has had recently was the confirmation by Swiss
authorities that her declared enemy in congress, lower house speaker Eduardo
Cunha, holds bank accounts in Switzerland, which he had denied.
Cunha, who holds the key to starting impeachment proceedings in the lower
house, already faces charges of corruption in the Petrobras bribery scandal. On
Wednesday he said he had no intention of resigning. 
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