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Brazil's Rousseff Warns of Political Instability

FILE - President Dilma Rousseff addresses a news conference in Brasilia, Brazil, April 5, 2016.
FILE - President Dilma Rousseff addresses a news conference in Brasilia, Brazil, April 5, 2016.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said Tuesday that launching an impeachment process against her will harm political stability.

"This will not bring political stability. Why will it not bring political stability? Because it breaks the foundation of democracy," Rousseff said.

Rousseff also said the possibility of her impeachment is sexist, citing the male-dominated political scene in Brazil.

"There has been, mixed in all of this, a large amount of prejudice against women," she said at a news conference in Brasilia. "There are attitudes toward me that there would not be with a male president."

Although female voters outnumber their male counterparts in Brazil, about 10 percent of the 513 deputies in the Chamber of Deputies — the lower house of Congress — are women.

The lower house backed the move for Rousseff’s impeachment Sunday. The Senate is expected to vote on the matter in early May, and a simple majority win by the opposition would suspend her and start a trial that could last up to six months. If found guilty, Rousseff will be the first Brazilian leader to be impeached in more than 20 years.

Opposition to Rousseff has increased in recent months, with accusations that she illegally covered up government budget shortfalls in 2014 to increase her chances for reelection. Rousseff denies the accusations.

The discourse surrounding Rousseff's possible impeachment has dominated Brazilian media while the country strives to revive its economy from its worst recession in decades, fights the Zika epidemic, and prepares for the 2016 Olympic Games to be held in Rio in less than four months.

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