Brazil’s Rousseff denounces plot to unseat her, attacks VP Temer

Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff (R) and Vice President Michel Temer are pictured before an annual lunch with general officers in Brasilia, Brazil, December 16, 2015. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino

Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff, facing impeachment by Congress, on Tuesday denounced a conspiracy to overthrow her, suggesting that Vice President Michel Temer is one of the leaders of the plot.

A congressional committee on Monday recommended to the lower house that Rousseff be impeached for breaking budget laws to support her re-election in 2014, a charge Rousseff says was trumped up to remove her from office.

“They now are conspiring openly, in the light of day, to destabilise a legitimately elected president,” Rousseff said in a speech Tuesday, referring to an audio message sent by Temer to his supporters a day earlier in which he spoke as if the president had already been impeached.

The congressional committee’s 38-27 decision was backed by Temer’s PMDB party, formerly her main coalition ally. The party’s defection last month greatly increased the likelihood that the lower house, in a vote expected this weekend, will send her impeachment to the Senate.

Temer would take over if the Senate agrees to suspend Rousseff and proceed with a trial against her.