Suspended Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff continues the fight to save her job. On 29 August she told senators that the allegations against her have no merit and that history would judge Brazil adversely if she is removed from office. "I know I will be judged, but my conscience is clear. I did not commit a crime," Rousseff said at her impeachment trial.
Rousseff stated that she was re-elected in 2014 by 54 million voters. She declared that at every moment she has followed the Brazilian constitution and done what was best for her country."I can't help but taste the bitterness of injustice" of this process, she stated, according to reports by AP.
Following her 30-minute speech, Rousseff was due to take questions from senators. During the session she will respond to accusations that she damaged Brazil's economy through illegal budget manipulations. Her defenders are arguing that she is being targeted by corrupt politicians.
The impeachment process started late in 2015, when Rousseff's opponents in Congress presented a motion to remove her from office. Her appearance on 29 August comes within days of a Senate vote on her removal from the presidency. Several hundred supporters demonstrated outside Congress and cheered when she arrived. Outside the building a wall was erected to separate Rousseff supporters from pro-impeachment campaigners.
In May, the Senate voted 55-22 to suspend Rousseff for up to 180 days while the trial was pending. Michel Temer, who was her vice president – and who has now turned into her adversary – has replaced her as an interim president. If Rousseff is removed for good, Temer will serve for the rest of her term, which is due to run until 2018.
Rousseff's address came on the fourth day of the trial. It has seen name-calling, shouting and a declaration by the Senate's President Renan Calheiros that "stupidity is limitless." Rousseff is accused of breaking fiscal rules during her second term in office to hide problems in the federal budget. The left-leaning leader denies the accusations and says her enemies are using them as a pretext for a coup d'état. Her opponents assert Rousseff was trying to maintain high government spending and to disguise deficits, both of which helped worsen a severe recession in what is South America's biggest economy.