By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil was dealt a new blow in her attempt to remain in the presidency with yet another request for her impeachment, this time from Brazil’s Bar Association (OAB). On Monday (March 28th), as OAB president Claudio Lamachia presented the request, groups pro and against impeachment assembled in the Chamber of Deputies Green Room in Congress.
For Congressional Representative Wadih Damous, former OAB Rio de Janeiro Chapter President, the entity should not take sides on the impeachment issue. “To have a lawyer take one side or the other is okay, it is part of democracy. The entity however, can not take sides,” he told government sources.
For the government’s Senate leader, Humberto Costa, the request ‘portrays the unfortunate end of an entity that has always been above political bickering and now defends a coup’.
The OAB voted last week to support impeachment proceedings against President Rousseff after she tried to nominate former leader Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva as her Chief of Staff. According to the entity, the nomination was an attempt to render ex-president Lula immunity from state and federal prosecutors, making him answerable only to the Supreme Court.
The impeachment request also notes that the President granted international football body FIFA tax-exempt status during the 2014 World Cup, hurting Brazil’s economy.
The entity’s request comes a day before the Rousseff Administration is likely to lose one of its biggest allies, the PMDB. The largest political party in Brazil is expected to announce it is leaving the government coalition on Tuesday, March 29th.
The impeachment request by OAB, with nearly one million members, is expected to have a significant weight on the political scenario. The entity was instrumental in the impeachment of former president Fernando Collor de Mello, in 1992.