Brazilian President impeached

In an unprecedented move, the Brazilian Senate has impeached Dilma Rousseff, Brazil’s first female president, and removed her from office for the rest of her term. The Senate voted 61 to 20 to convict Rousseff on charges of manipulating the budget to conceal the nation’s economic problems. The crisis was sparked primarily by a $3 billion corruption scandal at state oil giant Petrobras that has enveloped hundreds of leading politicians, laying bare systematic graft. In a second vote, Senators fell short of the two-thirds majority required to bar her from office for eight years, with just 42 of the 81 members backing the move. Michel Temer, Rousseff’s former vice president turned political enemy, has been appointed as President. Temer will serve out Rousseff’s term, which runs through 2018. Rousseff survived torture in the 1970s under Brazil’s military regime. She later beat cancer and became the country’s first woman president. Rousseff had defeated a centre-right coalition of parties by a narrow margin and earned a mandate to carry on the legacy of the centreleft Workers’ Party, which has been governing Brazil since 2003. Brazil, the world’s fourthlargest democracy, is a regional power, member of the BRICS grouping and vies for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council alongside India. Implications: 1. The impeachment puts a definitive end to 13 years of governance by leftist Workers’ Party, an era during which Brazil’s economy boomed, lifting millions into the middle class and raising the country’s profile on the global stage. 2. India is bound to be affected by the growing political instability in Brazil. India and Brazil, both having huge markets, are part of a number of important bloc including BRICS (Brazil Russia, India, China and South Africa) and IBSA (India, Brazil, South Africa). The impact of Brazilian economy is bound to be felt. In Real GDP contracted 0.6 per cent in the three months to the end of June compared with the quarter to the end of March and at an annual rate of 3.8 per cent — the same velocity with which it fell in 2015. Moreover, over the past nine quarters per capita real GDP has contracted 9.7 per cent, reducing it to the same level as in the third quarter of 2010, just before Rousseff contested elections and took power in 2011 from Lula da Silva. 3. Brazil’s unemployment rate hit 11.6 percent in July, up from 8.6 percent a year ago. And the budget deficit is on pace to reach almost $48 billion by the end of this year.

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