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Rousseff complains of 'coup mongering'

By Reuters in Sao Paulo (China Daily) Updated: 2015-10-15 07:45

Impeachment requests scrutinized, including one claiming she altered government accounts

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said on Tuesday that her opponents are trying to overthrow a democratically elected government by seeking to oust her without any material facts and spreading hatred and intolerance across Latin America's largest country.

Speaking to a gathering of union leaders late on Tuesday, Rousseff said the political opposition is engaged in "deliberate coup mongering" against a "project that has successfully lifted millions of Brazilians out of poverty".

Her remarks are the harshest since the federal audit court, TCU, ruled last week that her administration had manipulated accounting to disguise a swelling deficit as she campaigned for re-election last year, and since Lower House Speaker Eduardo Cunha began to analyze several requests that she be impeached.

While the TCU ruling is not legally binding, opposition lawmakers are using it to call for Rousseff's impeachment.

"The artificiality of their arguments is absolute - their poisoning of people in social networks, their relentless game of 'the worse she does, the better for us'," Rousseff said, prompting cheers and applause.

Opposition parties wanted to force a vote in the house that could have opened impeachment proceedings this week, but a Federal Supreme Court ruling on Tuesday suspended the maneuver. Cunha is analyzing three impeachment requests, including one by lawyer Helio Bicudo, a former Rousseff ally who alleges she doctored government accounts to prop up her re-election chances.

Rousseff urged Brazilians to stand by her and her government, saying she is not the target of any ongoing investigation.

However, some of Rousseff's aides, as well as members of her ruling coalition, are under investigation for a graft scheme at several state firms, a scandal known as Operation Car Wash.

Rousseff said that any eventual breach of Brazil's fiscal responsibility law was the result of her government's efforts to maintain social programs for the poor in light of a deteriorating economy.

Her political mentor and predecessor, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, admitted on Tuesday that the accounting tricks happened to help pay for stipend programs that have alleviated poverty in Brazil for years.

The TCU ruling cited the government's failure to repay state bank loans as the main reason behind the accounting tricks. The strategy had a negligible impact on the way social programs were funded, according to the ruling.

 Rousseff complains of 'coup mongering'

Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff addresses the Central Workers Union annual convention in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on Tuesday. Nelson Antoine / Associated Press


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