Clouds gathering, many in Brazil contemplate a Rousseff exit

miércoles 8 de julio de 2015 07:00 GYT

By Paulo Prada

RIO DE JANEIRO, July 8 (Reuters) - The predecessor and mentor to Brazil's president says she is running on empty.

The chief opposition party says it is ready to take over.

And the leader of the lower house of Congress says Brazil should reconsider the role and power of the presidency.

This is not the usual jockeying of Brazil's noisy, multiparty democracy.

Rather, the economic and political crisis now engulfing Latin America's biggest economy is prompting politicians, economists and ordinary Brazilians to consider what once seemed unthinkable: that President Dilma Rousseff, re-elected less than nine months ago, might not finish her second term, which runs to 2018.

"It's a real possibility," says Carlos Melo, a political scientist at Insper, a São Paulo business school. "Bad policies and political stagnation have grown into something more urgent."

No one expects Rousseff, a 68-year-old former bureaucrat turned energy minister, to step down tomorrow.

She has repeatedly said she will not resign. Impeachment would require proof, none of which exists so far, that she committed crimes or other wrongdoing, particularly with regards to a bribery scandal involving state-run energy company Petroleo Brasileiro SA, or Petrobras.   Continuación...