Is Rousseff's impeachment justified?

The Brazilian Senate voted on Wednesday in favour of impeaching President Dilma Rousseff. After a power struggle that went on for months former vice president Michel Temer has now taken over as head of state. The political crisis is far from over, some fear, while others see a major opportunity opening up for the Brazilian left.

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De Standaard (BE) /

Conservatives won't save the country

The crisis in Brazil will only worsen with the deposition of the leftist president, De Standaard warns:

“The conservative political caste is in the process of regaining its hold on power. ... Temer's government wants to change the constitution and limit state expenditures in the coming years. Above all cuts are to be made in low-cost housing, education, health and environmental protection, while the booming Brazilian banking sector will get off scot-free. ... The labour law and social security are also in danger under the new government. The Temer camp and its supporters in the media promise that Brazil will soon return to its former glory. Broad swathes of the population, particularly the middle classes, believe them. But Brazil's new, unelected government will prove as unable to tackle the recession as Dilma Rousseff was.”

Der Standard (AT) /

Defeat could be big opportunity for the left

The impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff could pave the way for the left's return to power, Der Standard believes:

“During the impeachment proceedings ex-president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva remained in the background. Ever since, however, he hasn't left her side. Because the grey eminence of the Latin American left has already concocted his next plan: the 70-year-old wants to unite the opposition in Congress with the unions and social movements in a large popular front. In his view, only with such a broad-based movement can he win an election victory in two years' time. He is counting on popular anger and the fall from grace of the profoundly unpopular new government under Michel Temer.”

Basler Zeitung (CH) /

Forced out of office unfairly

Dilma Rousseff was officially accused of using tricks to make the budget look like it was in better shape than it really was. But that doesn't justify impeachment, the Basler Zeitung writes:

“A Congress full of demonstrably corrupt parliamentarians and others under suspicion of corruption has dismissed a president whom not even her worst enemies have accused of having lined her pockets. Yet two-thirds of Brazilians still say Rousseff is guilty. So what is the now former president supposed to be guilty of? The manipulation of the budget and creative accounting that have cost her her job were just an excuse. ... Many have accused her of being stubborn, lacking empathy and the willingness to compromise. All that may be true. But not a single one of these arguments justifies her being driven out of office in this way.”

El Periódico de Catalunya (ES) /

The right wanted to get rid of the left

The right seized the opportunity to finally get rid of the left-wing president, El Periódico de Catalunya surmises:

“The reason for her impeachment, an unclear case of budget manipulation, is a relatively minor offence compared to the serious accusations that have been levelled against many of Brazil's deputies and senators and above all by Rousseff's accuser Eduardo Cunha, the former president of the Chamber of Deputies. Such audacity can only be interpreted as a purely political process aimed at getting rid of a president and ending the leftist Workers' Party's 13 years of government. The economic crisis, the loss of competitiveness, the growing unemployment and inflation that the opposition has used to eliminate a politically weak Rousseff won't improve with her removal from office. … In addition to Brazil's economic regress, Rousseff's impeachment represents a serious political and democratic regression.”

Jornal de Negócios (PT) /

A historic opportunity missed

Dilma Rousseff's impeachment also puts an end to the dream of better politics in Brazil, writes André Veríssimo in Jornal de Negócios:

“The Workers' Party (PT) had a historic opportunity and also responsibility to do things differently and better. But it allowed itself to be dazzled. … It let its own members line their pockets while in government. The case of ex-president Lula da Silva and Dilma is also the end of a dream and a myth. … Dilma leaves behind a country in the midst of a profound crisis, once again in recession (the economy has been contracting for one and a half years) and plagued by hyperinflation, escalating violence and chronic political instability. … An era is now drawing to an end, and a new - hopefully more positive - one will begin. But this can only happen if Brazil is able to disinfect its political class.” (DE) /

Rousseff herself empowered her enemies

Dilma Rousseff only has herself to blame for losing her post to Michel Temer, writes:

“Rousseff is being far too easy on herself when she points at the new leader and shouts 'coup'. Because this change isn't just an expression of Temer's hunger for power or that of his allies, but also the consequence of her political failure. Rousseff had holed herself up in her official residence Alvorada Palace. She didn't invite her allies or her partners to join her there, didn't involve them in her decisions, and remained inaccessible, sometimes for months on end. What's more, it wasn't just her policies but also - and above all - her political style that ultimately empowered her adversaries. ... Impeaching her was only possible because the voters also no longer wanted her as president - which admittedly goes for Temer as well. Now one unpopular president has been replaced by another.”