By Jay Forte, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – President Dilma Rousseff is in New York today, where she will attend the signing ceremony of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, and is due to return to Brazil on Saturday (April 23rd). While in New York, Rousseff will take the opportunity to speak with international news outlets regarding her position, that she is facing a parliamentary coup.
This is the first time that Rousseff has left the country since the initiation of impeachment proceedings were passed in the House of Representatives. On Wednesday (April 20th), Senator Raymond Lira (PMDB-PB) was appointed to preside over the special commission that will examine the admissibility of the case against the president in the Senate.
During the period that President Rousseff is in New York, Vice-president Michel Temer will assume the Presidency. Temer, who was in São Paulo, returned yesterday in the late afternoon to Brasilia, and will remain in the federal capital in the coming days.
Before President Rousseff boarded the helicopter, government news sources reported that some demonstrators shouted slogans in defense of her, “Dilma, warrior of the Brazilian people.” One of these commented on the Sunday voting to open the impeachment process: “The Chamber itself was denounced to the world [it] is a general laughing stock.”
Another protestor, Vinícios Vitoi, 54 and not affiliated to any political party, said “Politicians no longer represent the people, [They] represent economic interests of very powerful groups that put them there Members and Senators make laws that benefit themselves; They create operating rules that carry themselves, [with] people who are perpetuated there for decades.”
Yet Reuters reported that Justice Celso de Mello, the longest serving justice on Brazil’s Supreme Court, told reporters on Wednesday that the motion to impeach Rousseff was not a coup, despite her claim. “This is totally mistaken. Congress and the Supreme Court have made it quite clear the impeachment process has complied with the Constitution up to now.”