Anti-Rousseff impeachment push in Brazil loses ground

lunes 18 de enero de 2016 14:01 GYT

By Anthony Boadle

BRASILIA Jan 18 (Reuters) - President Dilma Rousseff's opponents within her main coalition partner, the fractious Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB), are losing hope that they can impeach the leftist leader and replace her with their man, Vice President Michel Temer.

A Supreme Court ruling last month that expanded the authority of the Senate, where she has a more solid backing, and reduced the clout of lower house speaker Eduardo Cunha, her arch enemy who triggered the impeachment process, has weakened the bid by opposition parties to unseat Rousseff.

Her critics accuse Rousseff of manipulating government accounts to boost public spending during her 2014 re-election campaign.

But in recent weeks, a growing consensus has emerged in Brazil's political establishment that the evidence against Rousseff is too flimsy to justify impeachment.

Her government is confident it has more than the one third of votes she needs in each chamber to block impeachment.

"The momentum for impeachment has lost force, yes, due to the brutal interference of the Supreme Court in a legislative matter," said Darcisio Perondi, a PMDB congressman, who believes Rousseff must be ousted if Brazil is to recover from its worst recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Rousseff's fiercest critics inside the PMDB are now focusing their efforts on a party convention in March, where they will push to leave the ruling coalition. They hope that will bring her government down just over a year into her second term.

Popular frustration with Rousseff has been fueled by the brutal contraction in South America's largest economy and a massive corruption scandal at state-run companies.   Continuación...