South American giant faces brutal recession and political turmoil ahead of Olympics
In Brazilian politics, clean slates don’t come so easy. Amid a deep financial gloom, the largest country in South America early today voted in the Senate after a lengthy session to launch an impeachment trial against President Dilma Rousseff. Critics are banking on the move to set in motion a new period of fiscal enlightenment.
But Rousseff’s possible successors have their own shady political baggage, calling into question whether new leadership is enough to lift Brazil out of one of its worst recessions in decades.
If the country is looking to install a truly spotless placeholder president, the options don’t look promising, says Mariana Prado, a Brazilian law professor who researches anti-corruption at the University of Toronto.
“We’re not in a good place,” Prado said, noting the interim president who would take over for 180 days, current vice-president Michel Temer, could himself be impeached on corruption charges. Were Temer to be forced out of office as well, Brazil’s constitution lists the Speaker of the Lower House, followed by the leader of the Upper House, as being next in line.
The speaker, Eduardo Cunha, was suspended last week and stands accused of taking $5 million in bribes. His replacement, Waldir Maranhao, is also under investigation for money laundering.
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