Rousseff seeks injunction to stop impeachment
April 14 2016 10:42 PM
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President Dilma Rousseff gestures during a ceremony for a contract renewal between the Special Secretariat of Ports and Container Terminal of Paranagua, at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia.

AFP/Brasilia


Brazil’s top government lawyer sought an injunction at the Supreme Court yesterday to halt what he called the “kafkaesque” efforts to impeach President Dilma Rousseff ahead of a crucial vote this weekend.
Solicitor general Jose Eduardo Cardozo filed the request for an injunction, saying the congressional assault on Rousseff has “gone beyond the original limits of the (impeachment) case accepted by the speaker of the house.”
“Evidence unrelated to the case has been included in the process, such as matters related to President Dilma (Rousseff)’s previous term,” he said.
Cardozo called the impeachment drive “a truly kafkaesque process in which the accused is unable to know precisely what he is accused of or why.”
“The process is violating President Dilma Rousseff’s right to defence.”
The appeal was lodged as Rousseff entered the final days of an increasingly uphill battle to amass enough support to defeat a vote authorizing impeachment in the lower house of Congress on Sunday.
Earlier, a high-ranking of the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party, or PMDB,  said nearly all members of Brazil’s largest political party in the lower house of Congress will back the impeachment of Rousseff in a critical vote for her political future.
Leonardo Picciani told reporters that 90% of the 68 members of his caucus would vote to impeach Rousseff on accusations of breaking budget laws, but there will be no punishment for those who do not follow the party line.
The PMDB was Rousseff’s main coalition partner until it broke away two weeks ago, tipping the balance in favour of her removal from office.
Rousseff met with her political advisors yesterday as her government scrambled to win over undecided voters to block  impeachment, but defections by several centrist allies in her diminishing coalition have seriously compromised that effort.
Rousseff’s opponents are just nine votes short of victory in the lower house, with 333 lawmakers backing impeachment, 124 opposed and 56 undecided or declining to respond, according to a survey by the Estado de S.Paulo newspaper.
On Wednesday Rousseff pledged to form a government of national unity if she survives an impeachment vote in Congress this weekend, but the odds of that lengthened as allies continued to desert her.
Politicians have begun to flock this week to the residence of the man who would replace Rousseff if she is convicted, Vice President Michel Temer, to declare their support for him, his aides said.
Business leaders have also come out in support of Temer who promises market-friendly policies and less government intervention to boost the world’s seventh largest economy, hit by its worst downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s.
In a major blow for Rousseff, the largest centrist party remaining in the government’s coalition, the Social Democratic Party (PSD), instructed its members to vote for the president’s impeachment.
The party’s leader in the lower house, Rogerio Rosso, told reporters on Wednesday evening the vast majority of the PSD’s 38 deputies support Rousseff’s ouster.



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