Brazil is a great country sinking fast from a huge scandal. No, this is not about this summer’s Olympics in Brazil.
The scandal involves Dilma Rousseff, the president of Brazil. She is the first female president. The Chamber of Deputies has voted to impeach her.
The impeachment now goes to the Senate. A simple majority vote by the Senate will lead to a trial. If there is a trial, the rules suspend her duties as president.
Ms. Rousseff can appeal to the Supreme Federal Tribunal.
The cause of the president’s impeachment was using funds from state-owned banks. The funds covered a shortfall in the national budget. She was not accused of enriching herself.
Observers say the reasons for impeachment go to the heart of the nation. There are many questions behind all this. Is the president a scapegoat for a failing economy? Corruption seems to be everywhere. Is she the cause of all the corruption and bribery that is taking place in the government? Is she a victim of the despair that is gripping the country?
The vice-president is next in line. Authorities are looking at him for taking bribes.
Brazil was doing quite well. Oil prices powered the nation’s growth. This is partly due to Petrobras, the state-owned oil giant. It poured money into the coffers of politicians. Oil prices began to fall. This brought unemployment. The president did not show the political skill that she needed to bring the country together.
The impeachment is splitting the country. Supporters are calling it a coup by rivals. There is turmoil in the streets.
An expert said the government has lost credibility. It can no longer govern. She said, “It is a terrible situation.”
The former Brazilian president is Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. He is also under investigation. He picked Ms. Rousseff to succeed him.
The name of the scandal is Operação Lava Jato, (Operation Car Wash).
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Source: The New York Times April 17, 2016