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Brazilian army ‘to help maintain stability’ amid crisis

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A member of the Landless Workers Movement (MTST) holds a portrait of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff during a demonstration in Sao Paulo, March 24, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

Brazil’s army has pledged to help maintain stability in the country as calls for the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff as well as economic hardships seem to be pushing the country to the edge.

“We are going to contribute to maintaining stability” while state institutions look for a solution, General Eduardo Vilas Boas, the commander of Brazil’s army, said on Friday.

Vilas Boas said that armed forces follow the country’s law, adding that based on the constitution the armed forces must act under the president’s authority.

“Our actions will be fully supported by what is established in the law, from the constitution to additional legislation, always acting under orders from one of the powers of the republic,” he said.

Boas’s remarks come as lawmakers are planning to impeach leftist Rousseff over corruption allegations.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff (photo by AFP)

The opposition has used a multi-billion-dollar graft case at state oil company Petrobras to pressure the president to step down. 

Rousseff’s opponents accuse her of manipulating government accounts for her own benefit during the 2014 re-election, a charge she denies.

In an interview with several foreign media outlets on Thursday, Rousseff said any attempt to remove her without legal basis would be tantamount to a “coup.”

“I am not comparing the coup here to the military coups of the past, but it would be a breaking of the democratic order of Brazil,” she said.

Rousseff was re-elected last year as president of Brazil for her second term. Her government is now facing many challenges, including high inflation, unemployment, recession and a financial deficit.

Currently, the opposition does not have enough votes to impeach Rousseff. The main individual behind the impeachment bid, Lower House Speaker Eduardo Cunha, is himself facing formal charges of taking as much as USD 40 million in bribes in the Petrobras investigation.

Some people believe that the impeachment crisis is partly related to Cunha’s attempt to distract attention from his own case.

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