The Brazilian President Has Now Entered A World Of Full-On Panic

REUTERS/Adriano Machado

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JP Carroll National Security & Foreign Affairs Reporter
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Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff “will never resign” she stated Tuesday in remarks to various lawyers who support her, according to Reuters.

Rousseff made her emphatic statement in response to political leaders of the opposition in Brazil’s Lower House of Congress — the equivalent of the U.S. House of Representatives — moving forward with impeachment proceedings against her Thursday. The embattled leader is accused of cooking Brazil’s books so as to increase public spending before her 2014 reelection campaign.

Rousseff has called the impeachment proceedings a “coup attempt.” Aside from the possibility that the Brazilian president will be democratically toppled, the entire country’s political system has been turned upside down lately.

Several lawmakers and members of the business community are under investigation for corruption related to the state-owned oil company Petrobras. Authorities are investigating inflated contracts for favored bidders as well as the payment of bribes and kickbacks to political appointees at Petrobras.

The Brazilian leader, in a desperate move, attempted to appoint her mentor and former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio “Lula” da Silva as her chief of staff. Brazilian authorities have brought Lula in for questioning for his role in the Petrobras scandal.

The reasoning behind Lula’s appointment as chief of staff is that only the Supreme Court can launch investigations into cabinet members. A lower federal court blocked Lula and the Supreme Court will issue a final ruling on the appointment at the end of March.

If impeachment proceedings are successful against Rousseff, she could be out of office by May. So far this wide ranging corruption investigation has brought down the head of large investment bank BTG Pactual and the country’s largest construction firm Odebrecht.

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