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Brazil's Rousseff says she'll fight on

September 3, 2016

Ousted President Dilma Rousseff has promised to provide a strong opposition to Brazil's new center-right government. Her lawyers have already launched an appeal against her removal from office.

Dilma Rousseff
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/F. Bizzera

"I don't have political plans for office, but I do have political plans. I'm going to oppose this government," Rouseff told the foreign media Friday, two days after she was impeached by a Senate vote for breaking budget responsibility rules.

The 68-year-old center-left leader said that, although she has been given 30 days to vacate the presidential palace, she will move back to her southern hometown of Porto Alegre next week.

Rousseff also had sharp words for Michel Temer, who was her vice president before taking over as interim president when she was initially suspended from office in May.

She warned Temer against straying from the platform that the two ran on in 2010 and 2014, adding that, if he does, the public would see his government as illegitimate.

She also vowed to speak up if his administration tries to crackdown on protests.

The pair were initially allies, but Rousseff now accuses him of leading a "coup" in having her impeached.

Seismic political shift

Rousseff's impeachment ended 13 years of rule by the center-left Workers' Party, allowing Temer to lead the country until the end of the current presidential term in 2018.

On Thursday, Rousseff appealed her removal from office to the country's highest court.

It is unclear when the court will rule, but several appeals during the monthslong impeachment process were rejected.

On Friday, the Workers' Party called for early elections to elect a new leader following Rousseff's impeachment.

"Faced with a usurper government, we believe the only way to restore democracy in the country is through a popular vote," party chairman Rui Falcao told a news conference.

Also on Friday, the parties in the governing coalition called on the Supreme Court to overturn a Senate decision to allow Rousseff to remain politically active. The vote was taken shortly after the impeachment decision on Wednesday.

Lawmakers spared Rousseff from an eight-year ban on running for public office or holding any position in government, as provided for in Brazil's constitution.

Rousseff's lawyer, Jose Eduardo Cardozo, said the attempt to deprive her of political rights will fail because the Supreme Court would have to annul both votes in the Senate as one had influenced the other.

mm/bw (AFP, AP, Reuters)

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