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Rousseff ‘to call early elections if reinstated Brazil's president’

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)
Dilma Rousseff, who has been suspended as the president of Brazil, participates at a meeting of bloggers and digital activists in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, May 20, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

Dilma Rousseff, who has been suspended as Brazil’s president, has suggested that she will call early elections if she survives an impeachment trial and is reinstated president.

If Rousseff survives the Senate trial in August, she will be allowed to serve out her term until 2018 but early elections are seen as a way out of Brazil's political crisis. 

With Rousseff suspended, her supporters have questioned the legitimacy of an interim government led by Vice President Michel Temer.

According to a poll this week, just one in 10 Brazilians view Temer's government positively and a majority want new elections this year.

“Given the level of contradiction among different political actors in this country, it is necessary to appeal to the population,” the 68-year-old Rousseff said in an interview with TV Brasil.

“I think it can be some sort of plebiscite. I won’t give a full menu here, but this is something under intense discussion,” she said.

“Only a popular consultation can wash away and rinse this mess that the administration of Temer is,” Rousseff added. 

Temer's camp has opposed the idea of early elections, which would require a constitutional amendment by Congress.

A wave of scandals stemming from a corruption investigation at state oil company Petrobras have undermined his month-old government and weakened the resolve to remove Rousseff.

Rousseff was suspended on May 12 when the Senate voted to put her on trial for allegedly breaking budget laws. To block her ouster she needs five more votes, or one-third of the Senate.

Some of the senators who voted for her impeachment trial have now second thoughts after recordings recently leaked to the media showed Temer's allies sought to obstruct the probe into the massive graft scheme at Petrobras.


Supporters of Dilma Rousseff, Brazil’s suspended president, protest against acting President Michel Temer at the Esplanada dos Ministerios in Brasilia, June 10, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

On Friday, thousands demonstrated against Temer in Rio de Janeiro and the impeachment process currently being carried out against Rousseff. 

They marched with flags and banners, calling for Temer to step down as numerous police units stood by  but there were no reports of violence or clashes. 

The protest is one of many to hit main cities in Brazil, following what demonstrators have called a "coup" against Rousseff.

Former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva took part in one of the rallies, in the southeastern metropolis of Sao Paulo. He called on Temer to relinquish power.

“Temer, as a constitutional lawyer, you know that what you did was not right. Give the power back to the people and to Dilma and try to gain the presidency in the next election,” he said.

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