Brazil's Rousseff pledges unity gov`t as momentum for impeachment grows
By Anthony Boadle and Maria Carolina Marcello
BRASILIA, April 13 (Reuters) - Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff pledged on Wednesday to form a government of national unity if she survives an impeachment vote in Congress this weekend, but the odds against her lengthened as even remaining allies wavered in their support.
Rousseff is scrambling to shore up votes against impeachment as a stream of defections from her coalition make it increasingly likely she will lose Sunday's ballot in the lower house of Congress on whether she should face trial in the Senate over accusations she broke budget laws.
Politicians have begun to flock this week to the residence of the man who would replace Rousseff if she is convicted, Vice President Michel Temer, to declare their support for him, his aides said.
Business leaders have come out in support of Temer who promises market-friendly policies and less government intervention to boost the world's seventh largest economy hit by its worst downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s.
Temer said on Tuesday he was ready to form a transitional government with other parties to lead Brazil out of the political crisis, raising speculation he was already forming a shadow government.
"Obviously, he will start thinking about a cabinet on Monday if the vote is for impeachment on Sunday," Temer's press spokesman Marcio de Freitas said.
Rousseff's chances of surviving impeachment suffered a big blow on Tuesday with the defection of the largest ally remaining in her coalition besides her own Workers' Party. The centrist Progressive Party, or PP, with 49 members of the lower house, left her government and pulled its one minister in her cabinet.
On Wednesday, the Social Democratic Party (PSD) gathered its caucus to inform its leader Gilberto Kassab, Rousseff's minister for cities, that a majority of its 36 lower house members would vote for her impeachment. Continuación...