By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – Suspended President in Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, takes the stand on Monday in the Senate to defend herself from impeachment proceedings. This is the last chance Rousseff will have to justify her actions before Brazil’s Upper House. The Senate is expected to vote on whether or not to permanently remove her from office on Tuesday.
The suspended leader will have thirty minutes to defend her actions and then will be questioned by senators. More than forty senators have asked to question Rousseff and the session is expected to last all day.
Rousseff has invited more than thirty supporters to the deposition, including former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
Senators from both sides met over the weekend to draw up strategies for this last session of Rousseff’s impeachment trial. Those allied with the interim government of President Michel Temer, reiterated throughout last week that they would respect the position of the suspended president and would not attack the leader if Rousseff’s speech was also ‘polite’.
“I hope that the session is calm and civilized, in line with the Senate. We can not be so hard that we will appear arrogant, nor so soft to seem cowardly, but it all depends on the tone that the president will have [during her testimony],” pro-impeachment Senator Alvaro Dias told government news sources.
Rousseff is expected to appeal to the senators to uphold the country’s democratic values, and has said that her impeachment trial is also a trial of the country’s democracy system. “One of the things we learn from all that happened is that democracy is not guaranteed. Democracy is a systematic achievement and we must be careful not to lose what we have gained,” Rousseff was quoted as saying last week.
Rousseff has repeatedly affirmed her innocence noting that she did what other presidents before her had also done when she borrowed money from state-owned banks to pay for federal social programs.