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Brazil’s Supreme Court urged to bar Rousseff from politics

Rousseff has denied any wrongdoing and called her impeachment a 'coup'

Major parties in Brazil’s governing coalition pressed the Supreme Court on Friday to overturn a Senate decision allowing former President Dilma Rousseff to remain politically active after her dismissal in an impeachment trial this week.

The Senate voted on Wednesday to remove Rousseff from office for manipulating the federal budget to hide the real state of Brazil’s ailing economy in the run-up to her 2014 re-election.

In an unexpected separate vote, lawmakers spared the leftist leader from an eight-year ban on running for public office or holding any position in government, as provided for in Brazil’s constitution.

“They did a last-minute legal trick and guaranteed the former president’s political rights,” Senator Jose Medeiros, of the Social Democratic Party, said on Friday. He spoke after filing a request to annul the second vote, which he said was unconstitutional.

His motion was joined by another from the Democrats party and the Brazilian Social Democracy Party, two heavyweights in the coalition assembled by the new President Michel Temer, following a similar motion by Green Party Senator Alvaro Dias on Thursday.

The head of the ruling Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB), Romero Juca, also condemned on Twitter the Senate’s vote separating the matter of Rousseff’s ouster from her political rights in the years ahead.

Brazil’s new President Michel Temer, who was sworn in after Rousseff was dismissed, has played down the twist in her final removal.

“The Senate made that decision, wrongly or rightly, but the Senate made that decision,” Temer said on the sidelines of a business summit in Shanghai ahead of a G20 summit in China.

The Senate decision, which garnered support from several members of Temer’s fractious PMDB, appeared to reflect unease over whether the doctoring of budget figures that Rousseff was convicted of was truly an impeachable offense.

Rousseff herself appealed to the Supreme Court on Thursday to annul the decision to oust her, a request that is unlikely to succeed.

A reversal of the vote granting her political rights is also seen as improbable since it was allowed by Supreme Court Chief Justice Ricardo Lewandowski, who presided over the impeachment trial in the Senate.

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