Brazilian Opposition Leader: Government’s Power Is Waning


Tens of thousands of Brazilians took to the streets Thursday to protest against the possible impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff.Rousseff could lose power as soon as May if the lower house of Congress approves her impeachment.The defection of the country’s largest political party, the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party, from a ruling coalition with Rousseff’s Workers’ Party on Tuesday has only increased the likelihood that she will be removed, analysts say.Pro-government demonstrations were scheduled in a number of Brazilian cities Thursday.The International Olympic Committee said it is following political developments inside the country but expressed optimism that the games will go on as planned.Brazilian officials said the planning for the Olympic Games would not be affected by Col Moreira’s and Mr Hilton’s resignations.A political crisis looks increasingly likely to topple the President, while a wide-ranging corruption scandal connected to state oil company Petrobras has ensnared dozens of Brazil’s business and political luminaries.The embattled leader will now search for new allies and will try to form a new government before the end of the week, Rousseff’s chief of staff, Jaques Wagner, told reporters. Under Brazilian law, only the Supreme Court can authorize the investigation, detention and indictment of Cabinet ministers and legislators. Most recently, she’s been criticized for appointing Lula da Silva, popularly known as “Lula”, to be her chief of staff.A legal battle has ensued as opponents seek to block Lula da Silva’s appointment.The Supreme Federal Court hasn’t ruled yet on whether Lula da Silva can join Rousseff’s Cabinet. Judges voted to put Lula’s case under the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and not federal Judge Sergio Moro.On Wednesday, Rousseff branded the attempt to bring her down as based on trumped-up charges and amounting to “a coup”.The Ibovespa extended its biggest monthly rally in 16 years on speculation she will be impeached. “We are discussing a very concrete impeachment without crime”. If two thirds vote to impeach her, she will be out. She’s denied wrongdoing and claims the effort is a ¿coup¿ against her government. Rousseff is facing impeachment for alleged mismanagement of state funds.Demonstrators protest in support of Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff and former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Thursday, March 31, 2016.If impeaching proceedings move forward, they would essentially freeze Rousseff’s government for 180 days while the President fights these efforts.”The decision by the Democratic Movement party comes at a good time because it offers the president an opportunity to reconsolidate her government”, Wagner said.Brazil’s economy shrank 3.8% last year and the country is already in its worst recession in 25 years.Brazil has reported more than 4,000 cases of microcephaly – a neurological disorder in which babies are born with small heads – in infants born to women infected with Zika while pregnant.