No one can be impeached for being unpopular: Rousseff

Updated: 2016-04-28 14:46


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RIO DE JANEIRO - Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said Wednesday that no one can be impeached for unpopularity.

"In Brazil, a country with a presidential system like the US, no one can be impeached merely for unpopularity," she said.

Rousseff said all presidents and prime ministers in Europe who had to face unemployment rates over 20 percent also had sharp popularity falls, in an interview with U.S. news channel CNN.

The president is going through impeachment for alleged fiscal maneuvers to pay welfare benefits and maintain social programs.

The president said the fiscal maneuvers in question were not considered crime under Brazilian law, and thus the impeachment process is illegitimate.

She said several times during interviews with foreign media that the impeachment process is in fact a coup. In her most recent UN speech, she said the Brazilian people fought for democracy and will not accept any regression.

The Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of parliament, voted earlier this month with more than a two-thirds majority in favor of impeaching Rousseff, sending the issue to the Senate.

Should the Senate decide to begin an impeachment trial, Rousseff will have to step aside for 180 days for the trial to proceed, with the vice president taking over as acting president.