By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – In a surprise move, suspended President Dilma Rousseff announced Tuesday through a social media account that she would not attend Wednesday’s Senate committee hearing examining arguments for her impeachment. Rousseff said she would be filing her defense in writing to be read by her lawyer, former Attorney General, Jose Eduardo Cardozo.
“We are assessing my going to the Senate at another time,” said Rousseff in her Twitter account, adding “I believe and fight every day for my return. Not only for my mandate, but for the recovery of democracy.”
On Tuesday, senators heard the last defense witnesses for the case against the suspended president. Brazil’s first woman president has been accused of mismanagement of public revenues, borrowing money from state-owned banks to pay for social programs but not including these ‘loans’ in the federal accounting results.
Rousseff has reiterated her innocence noting that former presidents executed similar fiscal practices. According to prosecutors, however, the volume of loans obtained by the Rousseff administration was much higher than anything previously seen and that she is guilty of violating the Fiscal Responsibility Law.
The senate committee hopes to hear the final arguments by the prosecution between July 7th and 12th. From July 13rd through 27th, it will be up to the defense to present its final arguments. By August 1st, the committee’s rapporteur Antonio Anastasia should release his opinion on the case.
According to the committee’s schedule at noon on August 2nd, the opinion will be read and on August 4th, a day before Brazil is to host the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the senate committee should vote on whether or not to accept the charges.
If the charges are accepted, the final, full Senate vote, on whether or not Rousseff is guilty, should take place in late August, after the end of the Olympic Games.