April 25, 2016

Brazil's political crisis

With a congressional vote for the president's impeachment, what's next for Brazil?

Brazil's political soap opera took its latest twist when the country's lower house of Congress voted to impeach President Dilma Rousseff earlier this month. Rousseff is accused of illegally using money from state-owned banks to mask the country's deficit and improve her bid for re-election.

Rousseff says the effort to ouster her is nothing less than a coup. The president’s supporters say the legal basis for impeachment is a tactic that has been used by many elected officials without consequence.  Others point out more than 300 members of Congress face their own charges of wrongdoing, including many leading the movement against Rousseff.

The move comes amid low presidential approval ratings, a reeling economy and a major corruption scandal involving the state-run oil company and major political parties. Though Rousseff is not charged with illegal activities in that scandal, her critics say she failed to act.

Vice President Michel Temer is among those implicated in the oil corruption scandal, but if Brazil's Senate also votes for impeachment next month, he would become president while Rousseff faces trial.

So, would Rousseff's removal solve the country's corruption crisis? And what would impeachment mean for democracy in Brazil? Join the coversation at 19:30 GMT.

On this episode we'll speak to:

Renata Barreto

Fabio Ostermann @FabioOstermann
Founder, Movimento Brasil Livre

Laura Carvalho @lauraabcarvalho
Assistant Professor, Economics, University of Sao Paolo

Betty Martins @bettymartins
Brazilian filmmaker

What do you think? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.