Brazil’s political soap opera continues. On April 11, 2016, a 65-member congressional panel voted to proceed with impeachment charges against President Dilma Rousseff.
The decision means the case will shift to the Brazilian Congress’ lower house, where a two-thirds vote for removal would kick the case to the Senate, which would decide whether or not to bring a trial against the floundering president who stands accused of fudging fiscal numbers. The process is convoluted, and, given the various appeal options, could be time consuming. Yet, despite the attention paid to the daily political vicissitudes, the country must consider the overall causes of a swift economic downturn that have led to the political gridlock. Impeaching President Rousseff may shake up the political system, but it will not, by itself, fix a flagging economy.
Our forthcoming report The Crossroads Brazil investigates precisely these causes. As part of the project, I interviewed Arminio Fraga, a former Central Bank President in Brazil, and perhaps the opposition’s top economist. The conversation gives insight into where the opposition sees the problems in Brazil, and what changes might occur should it achieve power, either following an impeachment, or via general election in 2018. Of course, this is just one side of the story, but given Dr. Fraga’s influence in the opposition, it is an important side.
Enjoy the conversation, and check back soon for The Crossroads Brazil!