Olympics are over. So what’s happening in Brazil politically-speaking? And what can we make of the impeachment of the country’s first female president?
Amy Erica Smith, an assistant political science professor at Iowa State University who studies Brazil, said these charges “don’t rise to the level of the kind of accusations that would merit impeachment,” adding: “It’s not a legitimate use of the impeachment proceedings.”
This is why Ms. Rousseff and her allies argued that the politicians pushing impeachment were not trying to protect the integrity of Brazilian democracy, but, rather, to manipulate it to serve their own ends. Calling the impeachment a coup became a way to question the motives of opposition leaders and to argue that impeaching Ms. Rousseff would be contrary to democracy.
Normally, following the law — which the impeachers were indeed doing — by design serves democracy. But, in Brazil, there is currently just enough corruption and just enough rule of law for political elites to play the two against each other.Corruption, Professor Smith explained, is so endemic in Brazilian politics that it most likely implicates the entire governing class. The country also has a powerful judiciary that is actively working to investigate and prosecute corruption — an unstable combination.
More recently, the issue appears to be a pivot toward economic issues. Should Michel Temer maintain control as the new president, “the hard part is just the beginning” according to Simon Romero’s latest article with the economy, questions about his legitimacy, corruption investigations, and uncertainty all key questions.