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Brazil's Ousted President Promises Strong Position Against New Government

  • VOA News

FILE - Brazil's suspended President Dilma Rousseff attends the final session of debate and voting on Rousseff's impeachment trial in Brasilia, Brazil, August 29, 2016.

FILE - Brazil's suspended President Dilma Rousseff attends the final session of debate and voting on Rousseff's impeachment trial in Brasilia, Brazil, August 29, 2016.

Dilma Rousseff, ousted this past week as Brazil's president, says she has not elaborated on future projects but confirmed she has political plans.

Speaking to the international media Friday in Brasilia, Rousseff decried the process that led to her impeachment.

“I’m going to oppose this government regardless of where I might be. … Our role, the role of those that did not support the coup is to keep an eye on the Brazilian institutions and respect them. I will appeal in all instances because this is the right way to fight,” she said.

The Brazilian Senate voted Wednesday to remove Rousseff from the presidency for practicing pedaladas fiscais - the practice of using public money to fund state or federal social programs without the approval of Congress.

According to various reports, independent auditors did not find Rousseff involved in breaking fiscal responsibility laws. But many of those who voted for her impeachment are being investigated. Those senators deny any wrongdoing.

Michel Temer, the conservative vice president, was confirmed as president for the remainder of Rousseff's term through 2018.

Two days after Rousseff’s impeachment, the new vice president, Rodrigo Maia, signed legislation allowing for the amendment of an existing law addressing new rules for credit without Congress' approval.

Maia is the acting president since Temer is attending the G-20 Summit in China.

News websites such as O Estadao and G1 reported that the amendment introduces flexibility on using public money to fund programs without Congress' approval.

The executive can now use up to 20 percent as credit for necessary adjustments in the federal budget. Before the amendment, this number was 10 percent.

The change, reports say, was proposed under the argument that 20 percent allows public officials more flexibility to make necessary alterations in the budget, especially in years of income restriction.

According to officials from the Joint Budget Committee, this change would have no effect in the process that resulted in Rousseff’s dismissal.

"Dilma's case was not about the percentage, but the lack of authorization. I understand the law does not impact our case," Janaina Paschoal, lawyer and author of the impeachment request, told G1.

These same changes were proposed by Rousseff in April. It was approved by Congress on Aug. 23 and signed on Sept. 1.

Rousseff has also filed an appeal with the country's highest court to challenge the Senate's decision to remove her from office for breaking budgetary rules.

The appeal before Brazil's Supreme Federal Court, filed by Rousseff's attorney, Jose Eduardo Cardozo, demands "the immediate suspension of the effects of the senate decision."

Cardozo's appeal accused the opposition attorneys of violating her right to due process. If the court grants the injunction, Temer would return to being interim president while the Senate trial is repeated.

So far, all requests made by Rousseff's defense on the merits of the impeachment process against her have been rejected by the high court, whose chief justice, Ricardo Lewandowski, presided over her impeachment trial.

Millions took to the streets across Brazil this year to demand Rousseff's removal less than two years after she was re-elected, as Brazil slid into its deepest recession in decades and a graft scandal at state oil company Petrobras tarnished her coalition.