British MPs condemn the suspension of Brazil’s president; Ambassador Eduardo dos Santos replies

Brasil Observer - Jun 08 2016
Ambassador Eduardo dos Santos (photo: Luís Cintra)

(Leia em Português)


The Guardian published on 26 May a manifesto signed by 20 British MPs from the Labour Party, the Scottish National Party and the Plaid Cymru stating “Dilma Rousseff’s suspension is an insult to democracy in Brazil”.

The manifesto says: “We condemn the suspension of President Dilma Rousseff in Brazil. It is thoroughly wrong that a few parliamentarians trample upon the political will expressed at the ballot box by 54 million Brazilians. The new government has shown its true colours by appointing a non-representative, all-male cabinet and launching neoliberal policies that will hurt millions of working and poorer people. The interim government has no mandate to implement policies that reverse the social programmes that took 40 million people out of poverty. We join Brazil’s progressive political and social movements and groups from across global civil society including the trade union movement, in condemning this attempt to overthrow democracy in Brazil.”

The day after, following the guidance of Brazil’s new Minister of Foreign Affairs, José Serra, to combat the view that the impeachment of Dilma Rousseff is a “coup”, the Brazilian Ambassador to the UK, Eduardo dos Santos, defended the process that led Michel Temer to the interim presidency and said that “democracy in Brazil is alive and well”.

The letter written by Eduardo dos Santos and published by the Guardian says: “It needs to be pointed out that the impeachment process strictly complies with the requirements of the Brazilian constitution and the rule of law, under the scrutiny of the Supreme Court. It is incorrect to depict the ongoing process as political manoeuvres taking place against the will of the electorate. Under a democratic presidential regime, the votes received by a president do not prevent the commencement of an impeachment process to assess whether crimes of responsibility have been committed by the head of state. The deputies and senators also received millions of votes and are expected to fulfil their constitutional duties, which include investigating and judging the president if he or she is charged with crimes of responsibility. (..) The Brazilian embassy rejects any allegation that there has been an attempt to overthrow democracy in Brazil, or that the social programmes of recent years could be reversed. Indeed, the acting president has clearly stated his commitment to continuing and improving existing social policies.”