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Brazil’s suspended president vows to fight for her mandate

August 29, 16:48 UTC+3 RIO DE JANEIRO
Dilma Rousseff addressed the country’s upper house of parliament during the impeachment trial in a last chance to defend herself from charges of breaking budget law
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Dilma Rousseff

Dilma Rousseff

© AP Photo/Eraldo Peres

RIO DE JANEIRO, August 29. /TASS/. Brazil’s suspended President Dilma Rousseff promised on Monday to continue fighting to save her mandate for the sake of democracy and justice.

Rousseff addressed the country’s upper house of parliament, the Federal Senate, during the impeachment trial in a last chance to defend herself from charges of breaking budget law.

"I’m fighting for my mandate not because of vanity, but for the sake of democracy and justice. I did not commit the crime I’m accused of," Rousseff said. "Don’t expect me to be cowardly silent," she stressed.

Rousseff has accused her opponents of destabilizing the political and economic situation in the country in order to change power.

"My election to the post of the president was a heavy blow to Brazil’s conservative elite," she said, adding that the representatives of the opposition "made every effort to destabilize the government."

She explained that her opponents in the parliament had obstructed the adoption of bills proposed by the cabinet. "Many voted against the initiatives they backed without thinking about the consequences for the country. They were guided by the principle "the worse the better."

The suspended president attended the Senate’s plenary meeting accompanied by a group of her supporters and political allies. Among them is Brazil’s former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and famous musician Chico Buarque. Several dozen demonstrators opposing the impeachment gathered outside the parliament.

A two-thirds majority -54 senators - is needed to support the initiative to remove Rousseff from presidency.

Rousseff’s opponents say the impeachment process is motivated by her alleged financial transgressions during the first months of her second term. She is accused of failing to consult with parliament prior to enacting the budget and also delaying payments to state banks. No corruption charges were made against Rousseff.

Rousseff, the country’s first female president who took office in 2011, has repeatedly defended her innocence, claiming the impeachment process is politically motivated.

On August 10, the Federal Senate voted to continue the impeachment process of Rousseff. In the coming hours, the lawmakers will take the final decision on the issue. A two-thirds majority -54 senators - is needed to support the initiative to remove Rousseff from presidency.

According to the opinion poll carried out by the O Globo newspaper on Sunday, 53 senators said they would back the impeachment, while another 18 said they were against. Ten others refused to speak about their decision.

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