Brazil president facing renewed impeachment efforts

Brazil president facing renewed impeachment efforts

[JURIST] Two Brazilian lawyers filed a new petition on Wednesday in a renewed attempt to impeach President Dilma Rousseff [BBC profile], alleging she forged accounts in 2014. On Monday a parliamentary commission found there was no proof [TeleSUR report] that Rousseff, her predecessor or Petrobas [corporate website] were involved in the nationwide scandal concerning investors’ loss of over $2 billion. Rousseff’s opponents called for her impeachment because of alleged connections to the fraud. The opposition lawyers claimed in their new petition [Reuters report] that Rousseff doctored documents to hide the size of the national deficit in order to spend more government funds as her re-election neared. The lawyers also believe she continued to forge documents in her second term and spent over USD $210 million without the legislature’s approval. Rousseff argues that the opposition is trying to impeach her to hinder government actions.

Brazil has been the subject of several corruption scandals in both politics and business in recent years. Earlier this month, Brazil’s Federal Accounts Court [official website, in Portuguese] determined [JURIST report] that Rousseff’s government accounting practices were illegal. Last month a Brazil court sentenced [JURIST report] former treasurer of the country’s governing Worker’s Party Joao Vaccari Neto to 15 years and four months in jail for charges stemming from his connection to the Petrobras corruption scandal. Vaccari was found guilty of corruption, money laundering and conspiracy, having accepted at least USD $1 million in bribes from the oil company. Earlier in September the Federal Supreme Court of Brazil banned [JURIST report] corporate entities from providing funding to political candidates in the future in an attempt to prevent further corruption, calling the practice unconstitutional. In August Brazil’s attorney general brought charges [JURIST report] against Eduardo Cunha, current speaker of the lower house of congress, and former president now senator Fernando Collor de Mello, who served as president of Brazil from 1990-92.