Embattled Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff lashed out at the two men in line to succeed her if she is impeached, calling her vice president and the lower house speaker “heads of the conspiracy” to remove her from office.
Speaking to teachers and students at the presidential palace, Rousseff said vice president Michel Temer and Chamber of Deputies speaker Eduardo Cunha are plotting her downfall.
The remarks came on the heels of an allegedly accidental release on Monday of an address to the nation that Temer intended to deliver after a hypothetical congressional vote that would suspend Rousseff from office.
In the 13-minute audio, which Temer said he unintentionally sent to lawmakers through the WhatsApp instant messaging app, the vice president speaks as if he had already assumed the top job.
Rousseff said she was “shocked” by the recording, which she said “reveals treason against me and against democracy”.
“The mask of the conspirators has fallen,” she said. “I don’t really know which one is the chief and which is his second-in-charge,” Rousseff said, referring to Temer and Cunha, both members of the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party, which pulled out of the president’s governing coalition late last month.
“One of them is the not-so invisible hand that’s leading this impeachment process, through perversion of power and unimaginable abuses,” she said. “The other is rubbing his hands together and is rehearsing the farce of a would-be inauguration speech.”
The calls for impeachment stem from allegations Rousseff’s administration broke fiscal rules to mask budget problems, enabling it to boost public spending to shore up her popularity.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved