By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – On Wednesday Dilma Rousseff was impeached by the Brazilian senate. The controversy that arose after the impeachment vote however, was not about Rousseff being ousted from the presidency but the fact that the senate also voted to allow her to maintain her political rights, and run for public office.
“There is no constitutional provision to allow for one to vote for the loss of office, and another for the disqualification for the exercise of public function,” stated Senator Alvaro Dias in documents asking to the courts to revoke the latter decision. For the senator, the second vote was unconstitutional.
Dias, member of PV (Green Party) joined other senators from the PSDB (Brazilian Social Democracy Party), DEM (Democrats) and PPS (Communist Party) to criticize the decision of allowing senators to vote twice in the same process. These political parties, along with the PMDB (Brazilian Democractic Movement Party), of now President Michel Temer, are appealing the decision to the Supreme Court.
According to these lawmakers with the approval of the impeachment the law also maintains that the dismissed leader should be barred from holding a public position for eight years.
Senators were not the only one surprised with the two-vote process. Supreme Court Justice and president of the Federal Electoral Court (TSE), Gilmar Mendes, classified as “bizarre” the decision by senators to vote separately Rousseff’s mandate and the maintenance of her political rights.
President Temer, who was reportedly furious at some PMDB members for voting in favor of the maintenance of Rousseff’s political rights, tried to downplay the entire issue calling it a ‘minor embarrassment’.
“The Senate made a decision, right or wrong, it does not matter, the Senate made a decision. It seems to me that it (vote) is being questioned now legally,” Temer told reporters in Shanghai after meeting Chinese businessmen and before heading to the G20 summit in Hangzhou.