Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff on impeachment: ‘Democracy will be damned’

BRASILIA, Brazil, Aug. 29 (UPI) — Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff on Monday defended her record and said she committed no crimes during her impeachment trial in Brasilia’s Federal Senate.

Rousseff, accused of breaking budget laws, said her conscience was “absolutely clean,” adding that she always honored and upheld Brazil’s constitution. The second-term president has accused the Brazilian opposition of attempting to carry out a political coup d’etat against her.

She reminded senators that 54 million voters in a country with a total population of 200 million elected for her to become president.

“I’m afraid that democracy will be damned with me,” Rousseff told senators. “I can’t help but taste the bitterness of injustice.”

Rousseff is accused of covering up budget deficits by taking out unauthorized loans from state banks and of spending money without congressional approval during the 2014 presidential campaign. Rousseff said her actions were common practice under previous administrations.

A final impeachment vote would need a two-thirds majority — 54 senators — to permanently remove Rousseff from the presidency. Rousseff, who has been suspended, will resume the presidency if the two-thirds majority is not reached.

The vote is expected to be held later this week.

Eduardo Cuhna, the suspended parliament leader who began impeachment proceedings against Rousseff, said Rousseff is accused of acts that are “immoral and illegal” — adding that Rousseff “has no respectability to govern Brazil.”

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