Brazilian Officials Resign Amid Ongoing Controversy

Two more Brazilian officials have resigned amid the ongoing controversy surrounding President Dilma Rousseff. Sports Minister George Hilton and National Force for Public Security head Col Moreira announced their resignations on Thursday, joining Tourism Minister Henrique Eduardo Alves, who resigned on Monday.

Brazillian President Dilma Rousseff is currently facing impeachment for violating fiscal rules. Essentially, she is accused of manipulating government funds to cloak a significant deficit in an attempt to maintain her approval rating and win reelection in 2014.

As reported by US News, Rousseff has not denied that she manipulated the accounts. However, she contends “she didn’t do anything that was not common practice in all prior administrations.”

Dilma further argues that violating fiscal rules is not a criminal offense. Therefore, she should not face impeachment because she has not committed a crime.

Despite her denial of wrongdoing, President Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment will be presented to Brazil’s lower house of Congress in May. To proceed with the impeachment, 342 out of 513 members of the lower house must agree that she committed an impeachable offense.

Amid the ongoing controversy, the Brazilian Democratic Movement party, or PMDB, stepped away from Rousseff’s ruling coalition. By the end of the week, three Brazilian officials resigned.

According to the Guardian, PMDB party leaders suggested their remaining cabinet ministers and “hundreds of other federal government employees would have to resign immediately.” However, it is unclear how many are actually willing to comply.

Although three Brazilian officials resigned and others are reportedly prepared to follow suit, Agriculture Minister Katia Abreu announced she has no plans to resign her position. She also suggested other PMDB cabinet members share her commitment to President Rousseff.

Despite her best efforts, Dilma Rousseff’s approval rating has continued to fall. The plunge is attributed to a devastating recession and high unemployment rates. Citizens are also concerned about a recent Zika virus outbreak.

Although George Hilton and Col Moreira were both involved in the upcoming Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, the Brazilian officials’ resignations are not expected to negatively impact the event.

Despite the ongoing controversy surrounding Brazil’s government, officials said the XXXI Olympics are expected to proceed as planned. The 2016 Summer Olympics is scheduled to begin on August 5 and end on August 21. More than 10,000 athletes from more than 200 countries will compete in 306 events and 28 sports for a coveted gold medal.

Although the government controversy is on the forefront of everyone’s mind, the Telegraph reports there are other issues with Rio de Janeiro as a host city for the Olympic Games.

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Construction of a proposed subway, which is expected to transport guests to and from Olympic Park, has fallen seriously behind. According to reports, test trains were set to begin running in March. However, the testing was postponed, as the tracks still are not complete.

There are also concerns about the construction of the velodrome, which is, reportedly, “not much more than a breeze block shell.”

Telegraph writer Jim White explains.

“Following a contractual dispute with the original construction company, the building appears about as close to delivery as the Chilcot Report. The ventilation system has not yet been fitted, meaning the Siberian pine track is nowhere near being laid.”

Pollution is also a serious issue within the city and along the shore. Recent testing revealed that “the water contains levels of disease-causing viruses 1,000 times higher than considered acceptable in the United States.”

It is unclear whether the Brazilian officials’ resignations or the other issues will negatively impact the Olympics. However, ticket sales are reportedly lower than expected at this time.

[Image via lazyllama / Shutterstock.com]