Date
26 March 2017
Dilma Rousseff confers with Michel Temer in happier times. Rousseff is accusing her former vice president of complicity in her ouster by the senate. Photo: AP
Dilma Rousseff confers with Michel Temer in happier times. Rousseff is accusing her former vice president of complicity in her ouster by the senate. Photo: AP

Interim leader steps up as Brazil senate suspends Rousseff

Interim President Michel Temer called on Brazilians to trust their values and their ability to turn the economy around, hours after Dilma Roussef stepped down to face an impeachment trial.

Temer appointed a business-friendly cabinet that includes respected former central bank chief Henrique Meirelles as finance minister.

Rousseff denounced her removal, which ended 13 years of leftist rule, as a “farce” and “sabotage”, BBC News reports.

Temer served as Rousseff’s vice president before he withdrew his party’s support in March.

She has accused him of involvement in a “coup”.

After Wednesday’s all-night session that lasted more than 20 hours, senators voted 55 votes to 22 to suspend Rousseff and put her on trial for budgetary violations.

In her final speech on Thursday afternoon, she again denied the allegations and vowed to fight what she called an “injustice” by all legal means.

Temer, 75, takes over as president for up to 180 days — the maximum allowed for the impeachment trial of Rousseff, 68.

“It is urgent to restore peace and unite Brazil. We must form a government that will save the nation,” he said.

“It is essential to rebuild the credibility of the country at home and abroad to attract new investments and get the economy growing again.”

But he also said Brazil is still a poor nation and that he will protect and expand social programmes.

“Let’s stop talking about crisis. Let’s work instead,” he said.

Temer also said he would support the sweeping investigation into corruption at state oil company Petrobras that has embroiled many politicians and officials.

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FL/RA

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