As Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff faces impeachment, she said Friday her country was in the midst of a “grave” political moment, but that she was confident Brazilians would “prevent any setbacks.”
Rousseff could be removed from office by Brazil’s Senate within weeks as part of an impeachment process that has paralyzed her government. She has called the attempt to oust her an illegal “coup” against a democratic government.
Speaking at the United Nations during the signing of the Paris Agreement on climate change, Rousseff said Brazil overcame military dictatorship three decades ago and built a “vibrant democracy” that will prevail.
“I cannot conclude my remarks without mentioning the grave moment Brazil is currently undergoing,” Rousseff said. “I have no doubt our people will be capable of preventing any setbacks.”
If she were to be impeached by the Senate in a vote expected in mid-May, Rousseff would be suspended pending an impeachment trial and replaced by Vice President Michel Temer.
Temer has denied Rousseff’s accusations that he is plotting against her and rejects the notion that a “coup” is under way.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal published Friday, Temer criticized Rousseff for seeking support abroad. He said it was damaging Brazil’s image at a time when it needed to attract foreign investment to pull out of a severe recession.
Referring to Brazil’s implementation of the Paris Agreement, Rousseff said the country aims to achieve zero deforestation in the Amazon region, while increasing the proportion of renewables used in Brazil’s energy mix.
“This fight cannot be waged by the have-nots or the underprivileged,” Rousseff said. “This is why sustainable development must be a permanent reference in our common endeavor.”