By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – A survey on the Rousseff Administration shows that 68 percent of Brazilians support the impeachment of Brazil’s President while 65 percent think President Rousseff should resign. The survey, conducted by polling company Datafolha, shows deterioration in the public’s perception of the government from the previous survey, conducted at the end of February.
The survey is bad news for the administration, which has less than ten workdays to present a defense to the special committee at the Chamber of Deputies analyzing impeachment charges against the president. These latest survey results, in addition to the recent anti-government protests, are likely to put additional pressure on congressional representatives to vote for the impeachment say analysts.
“Growing unrest is likely to accelerate the shift against President Rousseff in Congress,” says Chief Emerging Markets Economist at Capital Economics, Neil Shearing adding that analysts are increasingly betting on Rousseff’s term in office being interrupted.
Political scientists also say that although Friday’s rallies across the nation to show support for Rousseff, the PT (Workers’ Party) and former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, brought together thousands and showed some reaction to the anti-government protests, the government continues to face a delicate political situation.
“These [rallies] will have a political weight, but will be unable to strengthen the government, which is [still] fragile,” Valdir Pucci, Law Studies coordinator at the University Center of Brasilia (UDF). “The rallies brought nothing new to the political scenario.”
Last Thursday, March 17th, Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies agreed on the 65-person committee that will rule on whether to send impeachment proceedings against President Rousseff to the Senate. The committee’s president, Congressional Representative Rogerio Rosso, is said to have spent the weekend with Chamber analysts going over the six thousand-page document which asks for the President’s impeachment.
The commission installed last week is the second attempt by the Chamber to discuss impeachment proceedings against the President over allegations that she had violated Brazil’s fiscal laws and manipulated government finances.
In December, Brazil’s Supreme Court decided to annul a December 8th election of a special committee and established several conditions that reduce the chances of Rousseff being impeached.
Chamber President, Eduardo Cunha, was able to gather the minimum quorum required to hold a Friday Congressional session, which is very unusual in Brazil. Cunha is said to be pushing for a five-day work-week (instead of the usual Tuesday-Thursday) so that the impeachment process will be resolved quickly.
Critics say that it is ironic that a few members of the committee as well as Cunha himself, being investigated for kickbacks and money laundering, are also facing corruption charges. If Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies agrees with the impeachment charges, the discussion will go to the country’s Senate for a vote.
The latest Datafolha poll surveyed 2,794 people on March 17th and 18th. The latest survey shows the populations’ discontentment is close to the record level registered in August of 2015, when the Administration was deemed as bad/terrible by 71 percent of those interviewed.