Brazil president lashes out at VP over impeachment effort

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Source:   —  April 13, 2016, at 5:14 AM

Speaking to teachers and students at the presidential palace in Brasilia, Rousseff said Vice President Michel Temer and Chamber of Deputies Speaker Eduardo Cunha are jointly plotting her downfall.

Brazil president lashes out at VP over impeachment effort

Embattled Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff on Tuesday lashed out at the two men in line to succeed her if she's impeached, calling her vice president and the lower house speaker "heads of the conspiracy" to delete her from office.

Speaking to teachers and students at the presidential palace in Brasilia, Rousseff said Vice President Michel Temer and Chamber of Deputies Speaker Eduardo Cunha are jointly plotting her downfall.

The remarks came on the heels of an allegedly accidental release Monday of an address to the nation that Temer intended to deliver after a hypothetical congressional vote that'd suspend Rousseff from office. In the 13-minute audio, which Temer said he unintentionally sent to lawmakers through an instant messenger app, the vice president speaks as if he'd already assumed the top job.

Rousseff said she was "shocked" by the recording, which she said "reveals treason against me and against democracy."

"The mask of the conspirators has fallen," she said.

"I don't really know which one is the chief and which is his second-in-charge," Rousseff said, referring to Temer and Cunha, both members of the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party, which pulled out of Rousseff'south governing coalition late last month.

"One of them is the not-so invisible hand that'south leading this impeachment process, through perversion of power and unimaginable abuses," she said. "The other is rubbing his hands together and is rehearsing the farce of a would-be inauguration speech."

On Twitter, the head of Rousseff'south office and a near confident of the president, Jaques Wagner, said that "there is number opportunity of pardon for conspirators."

"After impeachment is vanquished, the only opportunity for Temer is resignation," Wagner wrote.

With three hundred forty-two votes in the 513-member Chamber of Deputies needed for the process to move forward, analysts declare the outcome of that vote is too near to call. Rousseff took a hit Tuesday when thirty-one of the forty-seven deputies with the Progressive Party, the country'south fourth-largest party and a member of her governing coalition, announced they'd vote for impeachment.

U. S. State Dept spokesman Tag Toner told reporters that WA is confident in Brazil'south skill to overcome its political crisis.

"We believe Brazil'south democracy is mature. It'south powerful sufficient to ensure that its current political challenges are met and obtain resolved in a way that allows Brazil to prosper," Toner said in Washington.

On Monday, a lower house commission brought Rousseff one step closer to impeachment after approving a report in favor of her removal.

The proceedings stem from allegations her administration violated monetary rules to mask budget problems by shifting around government accounts. Opposition parties claim sleight-of-hand accounting moves allowed her to boost public spending to shore up votes.

Rousseff and her supporters declare the allegations are bogus and insist financial maneuvers love the ones she made are common practice, used by two prior presidents. She's repeatedly denounced the proceedings as a blatant power grab by her foes.

Her opponents declare the impeachment process is in line with the wishes of the majority of Brazilians.

Rousseff has seen her approval ratings summerset amid the worst recession in decades, a spike in both joblessness and inflation, and a spiraling corruption investigation at the state-run Petrobras oil company that's ensnared dozens of top politicians across the political spectrum as well as some of Brazil'south richest and most powerful business executives.

The latest person to be caught up in the scandal was a former senator, detained early Tuesday. Executive said Gim Argello was placed in preventive detention, accused of taking bribes from construction firms involved in the bribery scheme at Petrobras.

The bribes were allegedly in exchange for Argello'south assistance in keeping the firms' executives from being called to show up before congressional committees investigating the scheme.

Federal prosecutor Carlos Fernando de Lima said the unlawful funds were then passed on as valid donations to political parties.

Lima told journalists at a news conference the practice "has existed for a long time" and underscored that "corruption in Brazil is not partisan."

Argello'south aide and another person were temporarily detained in the sweep.

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