Brazil’s embattled president, Dilma Rousseff, has suffered many setbacks since late last year, perhaps none worse than when the lower house of Brazil’s National Congress accepted an impeachment motion against her in early December. The barrage of negative headlines, however, is unlikely to cut short Rousseff’s term in office, since the political and legal bars to oust her are much higher than those to block impeachment proceedings in the National Congress.
In recent weeks, the move to impeach her, which looked more likely in December, has lost some of its momentum. But a hasty impeachment process had little chance of succeeding given the lack of alignment between the main parties in Congress. Even though support for Rousseff’s removal will grow, the pro-impeachment factions in Brazil’s legislature are far from the two-thirds majority needed to approve the motion. The Chamber of Deputies, the lower house, has only a few weeks to vote on the motion once it is accepted by a special committee, which is likely to happen in February. It would then be followed by a vote on the floor, probably in April. The balance of deputies in favor and opposed to impeachment is unlikely to change in two or three months.
Despite the ebbs and flows in Brazil’s political landscape, the current crisis is likely to deepen further in the coming months. Rousseff, therefore, is not out of the woods just yet. In addition to the ongoing investigations into corruption at the huge state oil company, Petrobras, the economy will also add fuel to the political crisis in the coming months, as two consecutive years of recession continue to take a toll on the labor market.