Rousseff: My Mandate Is for the 54 Million Who Voted for Me

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff emphasized that she had not committed any crime that would constitutionally justify a political trial.


President Dilma Rousseff said at a press conference Monday that she was outraged by the legislative vote in the lower house that approved the impeachment procedure against her Sunday.

“What I am being accused of is grounded on expert opinions,” she said, denying the existence of “crimes of responsibility” that would constitutionally justify a political trial against Brazil’s president.

In her opinion, lawmakers who voted in favor of the political trial did not have any concrete arguments. “Governments can make mistakes, this is not a reason to launch a political trial,” she repeated, recalling that her predecessors also implemented similar measures to adjust the nation’s budget, without being impeached.

The impeachment procedure, she warned, “is undermining and lowering the quality of our young democracy.”

“In this second step of the process, I feel outrage, because the image we give to the world is … a lack of commitment to institutions.”

She criticized the opposition sector who launched the procedure only because they could not access power via a popular vote—whereas she was elected by over 50 million people.

She warned that “no government can be legitimate after this process, the people cannot feel represented by such a government.”

She also condemned the attitude of her Vice President Michel Temer, who would take over the presidency if Rousseff was impeached. “How awful that a vice president could plot openly against his own president, how can he be respected?” she asked.

According to a recent survey by Datafolha, only 2 percent of people would vote for Temer if he were running for the election, while 60 percent demanded he resign.

Rousseff recalled that since she was young, she struggled against the dictatorship “out of conviction.”

“I feel brave, I have enough strength to face this, despite feeling sad and outraged, but this does not paralyze me, I am going to fight, as I have always fought, and I started fighting in worst moments, in a dictatorship where they would torture you physically if you fought. But democracy has always been on the right side of history. That’s what I learnt from my country’s history,” she concluded.