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Cunha Gives the Orders and the Temer Administration Will Have to Kneel, Says Rousseff

05/30/2016 - 10h05

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MÔNICA BERGAMO
FOLHA COLUMNIST

The waiters working at Alvorada Palace, the official residence of the President of Brazil, still serve President Dilma Rousseff, who was suspended from office, hot coffee.

On Thursday, May 26, Rousseff received Folha for an interview and asked "some finger food" to be served as well. Her request was promptly granted; however, Rousseff made a complaint: "Isn't there any cheese bread?".

Rousseff looks strong and even relieved now that she is away from her routine at Planalto Palace, the official workplace of the President of Brazil. She was suspended from office 18 days ago after the Senate voted in favor of the impeachment process against her.

Here are the main excerpts of the interview:

*

Folha - Let's start with the impeachment.

Dilma Rousseff - Sure.

You need 27 votes against the impeachment in the Senate.

It is better to say that we need 30.

And you only had 22 votes in your favor in the admissibility session. Do you really believe that you will return?

We can reverse the situation. In that occasion, many senators voting for the admissibility [of the impeachment process] said that they were not deciding on the merit [of the accusations, which would be analyzed later]. So, yes, I believe I will return.

Especially because the real reasons for the impeachment are becoming clearer. And they have nothing to do with the six executive orders or the Safra Plan [measures that were considered impeachable offenses].

Are you talking about the phone conversations recorded by the former president of Transpetro, Sérgio Machado, with Senators Romero Jucá and Renan Calheiros as well as with former president José Sarney?

I read all three [conversations]. They show that the real cause of my impeachment was an attempt to block the Brazilian Federal Police's Lava Jato operation. This attempt was made by those who believed that, if the government didn't fall, the "bleeding" would continue. And I quote Senator Romero Jucá when I say "bleeding".

Another person who had his phone wiretapped says that I allowed things [the investigations] to go on. The conversations prove what we have been repeating systematically: we have never interfered in the Lava Jato operation. And that was the goal of those who wanted the impeachment. I am not the one saying it. They said it themselves.

What about the economic crisis and your administration's lack of support in Congress? Didn't they count?

All the attempts that we made to send reforms to Congress were blocked, not only by opposing parties, but also by a part of the political center, which is led by Mister Eduardo Cunha [the ousted speaker of the lower house of congress].

In fact, it was even worse than that: they proposed several "explosive" bills, with expenses amounting to R$ 160 billion [US$ 44 billion]. What was behind that? They intended to create an impasse, which would foster the impeachment. Every time the Lava Jato investigations came close to Mister Eduardo Cunha, he would act against the government.

But do you think it was better to fall instead of coming to a political agreement with him?

Making agreements with Eduardo Cunha means subjecting to his agenda. It is not a tradition negotiation to form a base. It is a kind of negotiation in which he calls the shots.

Do you mean the appointments made by the interim government?

People may say whatever they like, but the fact is that Eduardo Cunha is the central person in the Temer administration. It has been made very clear now that André Moura [a representative connected to Cunha and the leader of the Temer administration in the House of Representatives] was appointed. Cunha doesn't just give the orders: he is the Temer administration. And it is impossible to have a government in Eduardo Cunha's terms.

So in your opinion, the Temer administration is unfeasible?

They will have to kneel down.

Now, back to the Lava Jato operation. Was there any pressure on you to interfere in the operation?

It was very difficult to pressure me, my dear.

Translated by THOMAS MUELLO

Read the article in the original language

Marlene Bergamo/Folhapress
Dilma Rousseff received *Folha* for an interview at the Alvorada Palace
Dilma Rousseff received Folha for an interview at the Alvorada Palace

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