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Rousseff’s lawyers challenge impeachment decision at Supreme Federal Court

September 01, 2016, 18:17 UTC+3 RIO DE JANEIRO

Dilma Rousseff’s supporters have prepared two appeals to the Supreme Federal Court

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Brazil's former president Dilma Rousseff (center)

Brazil's former president Dilma Rousseff (center)

© AP Photo/Leo Correa

RIO DE JANEIRO, September 1 /TASS/. The lawyers of Brazil’s ex-president Dilma Rousseff on Thursday challenged the impeachment decision at the country’s Supreme Federal Court, the Globu TV reported.

The lawyers’ chief argument is that the legal norms behind Rousseff’s impeachment were outdated and contradicted some paragraphs of Brazil’s fundamental law.

"Unlike the constitution of 1946, the 1988 Constitution does not classify violations concerning the storage and illegal use of state funds as crimes, which can lead to the loss of the mandate," the lawyers wrote in the appeal, the extracts of which have been published by Folha de S. Paulo newspaper on its website.

The defense lawyers have asked the Federal Senate (parliament’s upper house) to cancel the decision on Rousseff’s resignation and demanded a revote on the matter. As for Brazil’s new President Michel Temer, Rousseff’s lawyers insist that he return to his status of the acting head of state.

Lawyer Jose Eduardo Cardoso had announced his intention to appeal the impeachment a few days before Rousseff was voted out. He described Rousseff’s impeachment as a "parliamentary coup."

Brazil’s Federal Senate (parliament’s upper house) on Wednesday impeached President Dilma Rousseff by 61 votes against 20 without abstentions. Vice-President Michel Temer was sworn in as the country’s new president until the end of 2018.

The vote took place by open ballot, in which all the 81 senators without exception (no one was absent) had taken part.

Ousted Rousseff called on her supporters to fight against her impeachment after she had learnt about the senators’ decision on Wednesday.

"I am urging those who voted for me at the elections: ‘Do not give up your struggle’. I am calling on all of you to fight for the restoration of democracy," Rousseff said in her speech in the Brazilian capital. Once again, she described the impeachment as a state coup.

"This decision will go down in history as one of the greatest injustices. We are going to use all possible channels to challenge it," Rousseff stressed.

She added that 61 senators had taken upon themselves the right to change the will of 54.5 million Brazilian voters.

Alleged financial fraud during the first months of Rousseff’s second term in office is the impeachment supporters’ chief motive. Opponents are accusing Rousseff of signing several decrees on the allocation of state funds without prior consultations with parliament and delaying payments to state banks. The opposition considers it as an attempt to conceal the budget deficit.

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