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President And Vice President's Conflicting Impeachment Views In International Press

04/22/2016 - 08h50

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FROM BRASÍLIA
FROM SÃO PAULO

President Dilma Rousseff travelled to the United States this Thursday (21) to participate in the signing of the Paris Treaty at the United Nations' (UN) headquarters. But some are saying there are other motives behind her trip, namely to garner international support for the impeachment case against her.

According to close sources, Rousseff will not remain reticent regarding her forced resignation when in New York. She is expected to "denounce" the vote against her as having no substantial evidence in support of what is being claimed is a criminal abuse of responsibility. In a strategic ploy to win international approval she will emphasise that she considers the impeachment a "coup d'état".

Marcelo Ninio/Folhapress
Rafael Pops, 37, um dos manifestantes na porta da casa de Antonio Patriota, em Nova York
With Rousseff in the USA, Temer temporarily assumes the role of President until her return on Saturday morning (23).

She may refer to the case in her speech at the Paris treaty ceremony; although this will not be the main issue she flags up.

As a result, Vice President Michel Temer launched a counter-offensive in the international press, to refute the notion that Rousseff's forced resignation is a rupture of the institutional order of the country.

The Vice gave separate interviews to The Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times -two of the world's most important economics publications- rejecting Dilma's slur that he is "the force behind the coup".

These were the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB) MP's first official public statements since 367 of the 513 congressmen - more than the two thirds (342) required by law - voted in favour of the impeachment of their former President.

"If every stage of the impeachment procedure is made in full compliance with our Constitution, how can it be considered a coup?" Temer asked the American publication.

With Rousseff in the USA, Michel Temer temporarily assumes the role of President until her return on Saturday morning (23).

SPEECH

A close advisor to the President revealed to the Folha that Rousseff will not give a propaganda-filled speech to the UN, instead focussing on the theme of climate change. However, she is expected to make "subtle" references to the debate over her impeachment, slowly making its way through Brazilian political channels.

According to aids, she is keen to "make her position clear" regarding the impeachment debate in speeches at a national and international level. However, Rousseff wants to make the most of the gathering at the UN to also highlight the fact that Brazil has an important role to play in the Paris Treaty negotiations.

The President's speech was prepared by her international advisers without any reference to the impeachment. Instead, her aids focussed on expressing that the Paris treaty "is just the start" and "there is still a long way to go" in the fight against climate change.

The decision what to say about the impeachment and in what tone to say it will be left up to Rousseff herself. The speech should be a total of five minutes long.

Some in the Working Party (PT) member's team advocate strong and blatant references to the so-called "coup", so as to give more visibility to the subject.

However, another camp believes it is not appropriate to discuss the impeachment at a conference about climate change. Instead Rousseff should only make indirect references to what is happening in Brazil.

The oldest Minister in the Supreme Federal Court, Celso de Mello, maintained his argument that the President is wrong to call impeachment a coup.

According to the Minister, Rousseff's is committing "huge error" by saying so. He voiced an opinion that this is clearly her personal opinion and thus she should restrict herself to issuing such statements only when being called to make her defence. Celso de Mello said "it would be strange to say the least" should the PT member use the speech in the UN to repeat her anti-impeachment claims.

Translated by GILLIAN SOPHIE HARRIS

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