Brazil’s beleaguered President Dilma Rousseff won a respite in her battle to avoid impeachment when the Supreme Court ordered the commission considering her case suspended for a week.
At the end of a day of political drama and chaos on Tuesday, the court in Brasilia suspended the special commission that had just been formed to recommend to Congress whether Rousseff should be removed from office.
The suspension, made in response to an appeal from the Communist Party of Brazil, which is allied to the leftist Workers’ Party of Rousseff, is in effect until next Wednesday when the court will meet to make a ruling.
The appeal claimed irregularities in the way the commission was formed, with Rousseff loyalists complaining that opposition leaders had unfairly managed to force out members who were more sympathetic to the president.
“The court understood that the allegations are relevant. There is the risk that everything which has been done would come to nothing. So they suspended all work of the commission until December 16,” Ademar Borges, a Communist Party lawyer, told AFP.
This gave much needed breathing space to Rousseff, who less than a year into her second term is fighting for her political life.
Brazil’s first female president, a moderate leftist, is accused of illegal budgeting maneuvers, but says the practices were long accepted by previous governments. She calls the attempt to bring her down a “coup.”