Rousseff could survive impeachment vote: Lula

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Brasilia, April 16 (IANS) Former brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has said that he believed the impeachment vote against incumbent President Dilma Rousseff on Sunday in the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of the National Congress, would fail.

“Dismissing a democratically elected government without a crime of responsibility will not solve anything, it will only worsen the crisis,” Xinhua quoted Lula as saying on Friday.

Lula urged the lawmakers to unite their strength to make Brazil a country with strong institutions, and not to take “an unthinkable step” on Sunday.

He also said that he would use his experience as a former president to “aid the rebuilding of dialogue and unity in this country.”

Last week, Lula met political leaders in the Chamber of Deputies to gather enough votes to help Rousseff survive the impeachment crisis.

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“There have been extraordinary protests across the country in defence of legality. This shows that, outside of democracy, we will only have chaos and permanent uncertainty,” he said.

Despite his strong support, a running tally from Brazilian daily O Globo indicated that 342 deputies are in favour of impeachment, 123 are against and 48 are undecided.

If the number of votes favouring impeachment exceeds 342, the matter could be referred to the upper house of the National Congress.

On Saturday, Rousseff is expected to take part in a political event in Brasilia at the Mane Garrincha Stadium, where thousands of supporters have been camping out.

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