The President of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff has been impeached following an impeachment process that has seen her suspended from office since May.
Rousseff was impeached for hiding the country’s declining economic situation during an election year in order to win reelection in 2014.
Brazilian senators voted to impeach her 61 to 20. Her vice president, Michel Temer, will serve as interim president until an election in 2018.
Since Rousseff’s reelection, her term in office (her second) had been marred in unceasing scandal. Earlier that year the country’s judiciary branch carried out a massive anti-corruption sting in Brazil quasi-state oil company, Petrobras.
The mission was called Operation Car Wash, and what authorities uncovered was that corrupt politicians from all leading parties had siphoned over $2 billion from the company in order to pay kickbacks and favors for Brazil’s elite.
It didn’t help that at the same time Brazil’s economy was starting to fail thanks to a global commodities price slump.
During this time, Rousseff’s favorability fell to as low as 7%. Massive protests broke out across the country as a general rage over the scandal hit fever pitch. Some citizens even called for the return of military rule.
However, Rousseff was never directly implicated in Operation Car Wash, despite the fact that she served as the chairwoman of Petrobras’ board from 2003 to 2010. That was during the rule of her predecessor and mentor, Luis Inacio Lula da Silva, who has also been accused of corruption.
Alternatively, some politicians who have moved aggressively to impeach Rousseff have been implicated in Operation Car Wash. This includes interim President Michel Temer, Rousseff’s Vice President from her largest opposition party. He was accused of participating in an illegal ethanol-purchasing program and making illegal donations among other thing.
This is why some, including Rousseff herself, have called this impeachment a coup.