By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – After almost fifteen hours of being grilled by senators, suspended Brazilian President, Dilma Rousseff, reiterated on Monday (August 29th) that she had committed no crime and asked lawmakers to vote with their ‘conscience’. Today the final speeches by the defense and prosecution will be delivered.
“One can assume that when one makes exceptions and removes an elected president without [proving] criminal liability, this wound is very difficult to be healed. So I ask you senators to be very thorough when evaluating this process,” said Rousseff after answering the questions of nearly fifty senators throughout the day.
Monday’s session was a last ditch attempt by Rousseff and her defense team to keep her position as leader of South America’s largest country. While some senators accused her of ruining the economy and masking mega accounting deficits, others spent their allotted time praising Rousseff’s social programs.
Analysts interviewed throughout the day by local TV stations emphasized that Rousseff had not once in the entire impeachment process indicated a ‘mea culpa’ in the questionable accounting records of her administration, and that fact would probably block her from swaying votes to her side.
Stating that ‘what is at stake now are the achievements of the past thirteen years’ Rousseff blamed suspended Chamber of Deputies president, Eduardo Cunha, for the start of the impeachment process and interim president Michel Temer for being what she called ‘usurper’, person exercising authority unconstitutionally.
Supreme Court Chief Justice, Ricardo Lewandowski, had to ask lawmakers to quiet down several times during the day, and twice called for a brief recess to reduce tension between senators pro and against impeachment.
On Tuesday the final speeches by the defense and accusation will be delivered. During the afternoon senators will have a chance to make their final observations before voting. The Chief Justice decided that instead of voting through the night on Tuesday, the final impeachment vote will begin on Wednesday morning.