Impeachment threatens Brazil's welfare programs: Rousseff
Updated: 2016-05-13 10:49
Supporters applaud as suspended Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff (C) addresses the audience after the Brazilian Senate voted to impeach her for breaking budget laws, at Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil, May 12, 2016. [Photo/Agencies]
BRASILIA - Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, who was suspended Thursday to face an impeachment trial, warned that the impeachment movement threatened key government welfare programs and recently-discovered deep-sea oil deposits.
The legislature's decision to put her on trial, effectively preventing her from governing for what could be the next six months, targets more than the presidential office, Rousseff said in a televised speech to the nation.
"I want to address the entire population to say that the coup is not just aimed at ousting me," Rousseff said from the presidential headquarters of Planalto in the capital of Brasilia, calling the trial as an attempt to seize power.
"By ousting me, they want to prevent the implementation of the (national) program that was elected by a majority of Brazilians," said Rousseff, who was re-elected to a second term in 2014.
"What is at stake is respect for the independent will of the Brazilian people and the Constitution, and for the achievements of the past 13 years" under the leadership of the Workers' Party, said Rousseff, flanked by her cabinet and political allies.
"What is at stake is Brazil's great discovery, the pre-salt (oil deposits); what is at stake is the future of Brazil," she added.
The Workers' Party spearheaded landmark social programs that were recognized by the United Nations and other international agencies. And it was during her administration that Brazil announced discovery of substantial oil deposits under deep layers of salt below the ocean floor.
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