D-day looms for Rousseff as supporters desert her ahead of impeachment vote

Embattled Brazilian leader Dilma Rousseff faces a fight for her political life on Friday as the lower house of parliament begins debating whether she should be impeached. The 68-year-old president was thwarted late on Thursday in her latest legal challenge when the Supreme Court rejected a bid to halt the process. Seven of 10 justices ruled against her injunction even before the extraordinary court session had finished. Ms Rousseff was left scraping around for support ahead of the debate and vote on Sunday which could see her removed her from office.

(Impeachment is) a truly Kafkaesque process in which the accused is unable to know precisely what she is accused of or why

Attorney general Jose Eduardo Cardozo in his filing to the Supreme Court

Ms Rousseff is clinging to power after being accused of juggling the country’s accounts to make her government’s economic performance appear better than it was. Scores of MPs from her left-wing alliance have deserted her as the vote nears. She denies any wrongdoing and accuses her opponents, including her own deputy, of plotting a coup against her. A two-thirds majority in the congress is needed to send the vote to impeach her to the country’s upper house. In the senate, a simple majority is enough to see her suspended, while another two-thirds majority means she will be impeached.

It’s a mistake to think that overthrowing a government will bring stability, peace, security and development. Not respecting the popular vote will plunge the country into chaos.

Rui Falcao, leader of Rousseff’s Workers’ Party