Brazil’s Rousseff lodges impeachment appeal

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Dilma RousseffDhaka, September, 1, 2016: Brazil’s ex-president Dilma Rousseff filed a Supreme Court challenge Thursday asking for the overturning of a Senate impeachment vote that removed her from office. AFP

The appeal, filed by Rousseff’s lawyer Jose Eduardo Cardozo and seen by AFP, demands “the immediate suspension of the effects of the Senate decision.”

The Senate voted Wednesday to convict Rousseff on charges of having illegally manipulated government accounts, stripping her of her office and replacing her with her bitter enemy and former vice president Michel Temer.

Cardozo’s appeal asks for “a new trial” during which Temer — who was sworn in as president up until the end of 2018 — would be downgraded to interim president again.

Temer is now in China, attending a G20 summit, while Rousseff remains in the Alvorada presidential palace in Brasilia. She is expected to leave shortly for her personal apartment in the southern city of Porto Alegre.

Rousseff was convicted by a two-thirds majority Wednesday of taking illegal state loans to patch budget holes in 2014, masking the country’s problems as it slid into economic disarray.

Senators voting for her removal said she had contributed to Brazil’s economic crisis and acted with criminal irresponsibility.

Rousseff, from the leftist Workers’ Party, denied having done anything illegal and claimed to be the victim of a right-wing coup d’etat.

In a surprise move, a Senate vote on barring Rousseff from public office for eight years failed, meaning she is free to re-enter political life. The ban had been considered by many to be a standard consequence of removal in an impeachment trial.

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