On Wednesday, Brazil’s first female President, Dilma Rousseff was removed from office by an impeachment vote by 61 Senate members with the remaining 20 senators opposing the motion.
The hearing lasted six days but the events that led up to this impeachment have built in the last ten months. Former President Rousseff had been accused of illegally patching holes in the nation’s budget with state loans since her re-election in 2014.
In basic terms, Rousseff was involved in budget padding. In her defence, Rousseff insists that the trial was a witchhunt; she also described her impeachment as a coup d’etat effectively carried out by corrupt opponents who were bound to be victims of her anti-corruption crusade.
There have been accusations and counter-accusations and it looks like the politicians in Brazil are playing big games at the expense of the the democracy and economy of the country.
In the last two years, Brazil’s economy has taken a deep plunge and it is currently facing its worst recession in decades.
Here are some of the winners and losers:
The majority of legislators: Just after the vote came through and the result was announced, the group of lawmakers who determinedly ousted President Rousseff celebrated with a rendition of the Brazilian national anthem and loud cheers.
It was victory for them, the end of a long battle and beginning of the journey to save the ailing economy. Rousseff has accused the legislators of mounting a parliamentary coup against her and some political analysts have argued that the leaders of the opposition in the senate are only serving their own selfish interests.
Dilma Rousseff: The Workers’ Party leader was first elected into office as the 36th and first female president of Brazil in 2011.
68-year-old Dilma Rousseff was reelected for her second term in 2014 but corruption scandals have trailed her office since her re-election.
Aside being accused of illegally using state loans to patch budget holes, Rousseff was said to have largely mismanaged the economy and ran a “deeply corrupt government”.
In the last 12 months, about 12 million Brazilians had lost their jobs, inflation had reached 10.7 percent at the end of 2015 and there was a decline in prices of Brazilian commodities that are usually sold on international markets.
Rousseff has not lost all as she can still participate in politics and subsequent elections despite her impeachment. This came after a second vote to ban her from politics for eight years, was thrown out.
After the impeachment vote was cast, Dilma Rousseff posted a tweet: “Today is the day that 61 men, many of them charged and corrupt, threw 54 million Brazilian votes in the garbage.”
Rousseff has declared that she will appeal the impeachment.
The Leftist Workers’ Party: Loyalists of former president Rousseff were deeply agitated after the impeachment vote was announced.
They insist that it was a coup and that the future of Brazil is still as bleak as ever despite the impeachment.
A Workers’ Party senator, Fatima Bezerra said the impeachment is “one of the most grievous and shameful moments in the history of democracy in our country and it would leave Brazil fractured.”
Michael Temer: He has just been sworn in as president of Brazil but was vice president under Rousseff’s administration.
He is expected to stay in office until the next elections in 2018. Rousseff has referred to Temer as an “usurper”, he was interim leader from the time of her suspension in May this year.
Temer may have won in this regard but the onus is now on him to salvage the economic crisis that the country faces and there are projections that may be a difficult task for him.
Corruption has eaten deep into the economical and political sphere in Brazil and fighting this may be faced by stumbling blocks. In his time as interim leader, two ministers resigned from office after they were accused of blocking investigations.
We expect that this is just one of the many setbacks Temer will encounter between now and 2018.