Impeachment of a politician at the level of a President or Prime Minister doesn’t happen very often, but Brazil is looking at that distinct possibility. Dilma Rousseff is the current President, and is facing massive pressure from millions of citizens to leave.
The issue at hand is the accusation that Rousseff manipulated various funds ahead of her re-election campaign in order to make the country’s economy look stronger than it really was. As a result, many citizens and politicians are pointing out that she broke the country’s financial laws, and therefore should be removed from office. For her part, President Rousseff has denied any wrongdoing.
Public perception of Rousseff is not very positive. She had a 79% approval rating in 2013, and it now sits at 10%. The sentiment of citizens reflects the feelings of Helio Bicudo, a former member of Rousseff’s Workers Party. He feels their movement has turned from populist focused to elitist, stating, “(It’s become) a socialist party created to help people to serving the interests of a few who seek power".
There have been a number of large protests aimed at getting Rousseff out of office, but there have also been smaller rallies of citizens showing their support. A difficult part of this process is that the politicians who are next in line to become President are under investigation for corruption as well. As this issue goes through the proper legal channels in Brazil, it will be interesting to see if Rousseff remains in power; if she’s removed, it will be a hard transition to navigate.