Why Did Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff Just Get Impeached?

Zachary Volkert - Author

May 25 2017, Updated 6:57 a.m. ET

South America’s most populated country faced a historic Sunday as Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff lost an impeachment vote in the country’s Congressional lower house.

Halfway through voting, it was clear that Dilma was going to reach the two-thirds majority needed to proceed with the next step to a formal impeachment process. She currently has 272 of 364 votes cast against her. Speculation about her future as the president of Brazil will now move on to the Senate where she is also expected to lose. She will then have to step down for 180 days for a full investigation process, reported CNN.

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Live screens set up all around the city of Sao Paulo gave both Rousseff supporters and haters the opportunity to see each of the 513 deputies publicly give their vote. Both sides manifested in the capital, either in celebration or defeat. Despite economic turmoil, corruption allegations, and an unpopular, costly Olympics coming up, Rousseff can still count on supporters who claim that the impeachment is a coup d’état in disguise to remove her left-wing government from power, pointing to endemic corruption across all political parties.

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So, why did Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff get impeached?

Nosedive In Support

Poll information shows that Dilma’s defenders are in the minority. Rouseff’s impeachment is supported by 64 percent of the population, and only 10 percent say they approve of the job she is doing, reported The Guardian.

Some might explain away Dilma’s catastrophic drop in popularity by saying these respondents don’t count her Worker’s Party’s primary adherents — the poor and lower middle class. Yet even among them, the president is seeing a growing call for impeachment. According to recent Datafolha’s numbers, 65 percent of the bottom income bracket disapprove of Rousseff. That’s just 10 percent less than Brazil’s top income bracket, reported Forbes in an article that opened with the assertion that she is the most hated woman in her country.


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