Brazil courts boost impeachment push, but Rousseff's ouster still distant

jueves 8 de octubre de 2015 13:30 GYT

By Paulo Prada and Anthony Boadle

RIO DE JANEIRO/BRASILIA Oct 8 (Reuters) - President Dilma Rousseff's opponents have a clearer path to impeach her after two court rulings against her this week but political hurdles still make her ouster unlikely anytime soon.

As many as a dozen impeachment petitions are already before Brazil's Congress, presented by opposition lawmakers who allege, among other charges, that the leftist president broke laws related to government finances and abuse of power during her re-election campaign last year.

On Wednesday, a federal audit court found that her government violated accounting rules in the 2014 budget. Brazil's top electoral court agreed on Tuesday to study charges, denied by Rousseff, that her campaign abused state media and other public instruments to get her re-elected.

Rousseff and her supporters have criticized efforts to force her from office as undemocratic posturing by sore losers who twice failed to defeat her at the ballot box.

But for those seeking impeachment, the decisions help provide legal cause to justify impeachment.

"It reinforces the demand for impeachment," Carlos Sampaio, an opposition Congressman, said of the audit court's ruling on Wednesday.

Some opposition lawmakers are wary of moving against a democratically-elected president without more convincing evidence that she broke the law, and business leaders argue that impeachment would prompt even further political and economic uncertainty, causing more problems than it fixes.

For now, Rousseff appears to have more than enough votes to defeat impeachment.   Continuación...