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In 'Extraordinary' Turn, Brazilís VP Pens Angry Letter To Rousseff: 'I Should Have Vented This Long Ago'

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Dec. 9, 2015

In “Extraordinary” Turn, Brazil’s VP Pens Angry Letter To Rousseff: “I Should Have Vented This Long Ago”

Tyler Durden’s pictureSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 12/08/2015

“I’ve always known about your and your people’s complete lack of trust in me and the PMDB. A lack of trust that is incompatible with what we’ve done to maintain personal and partisan support for your government.”

That’s from a letter penned by Brazilian VP Michel Temer and addressed to embattled President Dilma Rousseff. In what WSJ describes as “an extraordinary turn of events,” the letter was published in its entirety by local media on Tuesday. Temer, like House Speaker Eduardo Cunha, is a member of  the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party which WSJ notes “has provided crucial support and multiple ministers to Ms. Rousseff’s government since she was first elected in 2010.”

As anyone who follows the Brazilian train wreck is no doubt aware, Cunha is on a mission to have Rousseff impeached for allegedly cooking the fiscal books. That effort took on a new degree of urgency last week after the Workers’ Party said lawmakers are set to vote in favor of a motion to open an investigation into Cunha’s role in the Carwash corruption probe. In other words, it’s a race against time to see if the house ethics committee will force Cunha’s resignation before he can secure the lower house support to initiate a Senate impeachment trial.

“The letter comes at a bad time for Ms. Rousseff, who will probably need the support of at least part of the PMDB to avoid being removed from office,” WSJ goes on to say. In the letter, Temer says he “should have vented this a long time ago,” before accusing the President of reducing him to a “figurehead.” Gabriel Petrus, a political analyst at business consulting firm Barral M Jorge who spoke to Bloomberg says Temer is “opening the door for a possible break with the government,” and although “he may not be actively promoting impeachment, this could well heighten the chances of her ouster.” 

“The PMDB will have eight members in a lower house committee that will hear Rousseff’s defense and make a recommendation on whether the floor should approve the start of impeachment hearings in the Senate,” Bloomberg adds, laying out the logistics of the process (read more about the steps involved here). 

Here’s a bit of color from Barclays on how things are set to unfold:

According to Brazilian laws, any citizen can file a petition asking for an impeachment of the president, based on evidence of high crimes or misdemeanors. The Speaker of the House of Representatives can either reject or accept the petition. If the latter occurs, a committee is created within the House to investigate the allegations and prepare the petition to be discussed and voted on the House floor.


The petition voting session needs two-thirds (342) of the 513 deputies of the House to approve the impeachment and move the process to the Senate. Were this to happen, the president would have to step down for 180 days to prepare her defense, and the vice president would temporarily assume the post. If two-thirds of the 81 Senators approve the impeachment, the president would have to step down permanently and would lose her political rights for eight years, and the vice president would assume the role of president until the end of the current term. The Supreme Court can stop the impeachment process if it is an alleged violation of or threat to the Constitutional rights of the president.


The most recent impeachment in Brazil was in the early 1990s, and it lasted for seven months. The House of Representatives voted for the impeachment of then-President Fernando Collor on September 29, 1992. On October 2, Collor’s presidential powers were suspended, and Vice President Itamar Franco became acting president. As the judgment process evolved and it became clear that the Senate would also vote for an impeachment, Collor resigned the post on December 29, 1992. On the same day, Itamar Franco was sworn in as the new president of Brazil and finished Collor’s presidential term, which ended in 1994.

And here’s a timeline which shows that the political drama isn’t likely be resolved any time soon:

Finally, here’s Barclays’ full Dilma Rousseff flowchart:

As for how the market is likely to respond any one of the scenarios laid out above, Rafael Cortez, an analyst at Tendencias Consultoria, says the impeachment proceedings will be a positive development no matter what the outcome. Although “the market would react more positively to an impeachment, given Rousseff’s previous policies weren’t popular with investors [and given that] VP Michel Temer is seen as having the ability to negotiate with more of Congress and deal better with the current opposition party PSDB,” but should Rousseff emerge victorious, she’ll be “stronger, especially if she stays in office and House leader Cunha loses his post.” 

Paulo Vieira da Cunha, former BCB director and a chief economist at Ice Canyon, is less sanguine. “While some investors have positive view on a potential new government led by current VP Temer, the scenario isn’t clear and if Rousseff stays in power, she will still likely fail to fix the economy as recession may weaken the government further,” he told Bloomberg by phone.

We’re inclined to agree with Vieira da Cunha, but don’t tell the market. For investors, the prospect of a protracted impeachment battle is apparently a good thing because not only has iShares MSCI Brazil Capped ETF seen inflows equivalent to 4.7% of its market cap this month, the BRL also jumped sharply after House Speaker Cunha decided to get the Rousseff ouster ball rolling last week.

*  *  *

Full letter

São Paulo, December 7 2015.

Madam President,

“Verba volant, scripta manent” [Spoken words fly away; written words remain].

This is why I am writing to you. In particular, to discuss the intense news of recent days and everything that I have heard in conversations in the Planalto [Palace].

This is a personal letter, and something I should have got off my chest a long time ago.

First and foremost, I want to say that it is not necessary to prove my loyalty. I have shown it over the last five years.

This is institutional loyalty as defined by article 79 of the Federal Constitution. I know what the duties of the Vice-President are. To my natural discretion I added that inherent to my constitutional role.

Nonetheless, I have always been conscious of the absolute mistrust of you and your allies towards me and the PMDB. This mistrust is incompatible with what we have done to maintain personal and party support for your government.

It is enough to recall that in the last convention just 59.9% [of PMDB delegates] voted for the alliance.

And they only did so, in my opinion, because I was candidate for the vice-presidency.

I have maintained the PMDB united behind your government using my political prestige, which is fruit of the credibility and respect I have acquired in the party.

But that has not generated trust in me. It has generated mistrust and contempt on the part of the government.

Let’s take a look at the facts. I shall provide a few examples.

1. I spent the first four years of the government as a decorative Vice-President. You know this. I lost all the political leadership that I had in the past and that could have been used by the government. I was only ever called to resolve PMDB voting and political crises.

2. The PMDB and I were never called to discuss economic or political policymaking; we were mere accessories, secondary objects, subsidiaries.

3. In your second term, you decided at the last minute not to renew the Ministry of Civil Aviation, where [Wellington] Moreira Franco had done such excellent work, which was praised during the World Cup. You knew he was my choice. Therefore, it was an attempt to disparage me. This suspicion was confirmed the following day, when we spoke on the phone.

4. In the more recent Eliseu Padilha episode, he left the Ministry because of many “insults”, culminating with what the government did to him, blocking without any prior notice the appointment of a technician that he, the Minister, had chosen for ANAC [National Agency of Civil Aviation].

It is clear that a) this was retaliation towards me and b) that he left because he is part of a supposed “conspiracy.”

5. When you asked me to become the government’s chief negotiator in Congress, at a moment when the government had been badly discredited, I responded and Padilha and I got the fiscal adjustment approved.

This is a difficult issue because it affects both workers and business leaders.

We didn’t flinch. The future of the country was in the balance. When the adjustment was approved, nothing of what we started had continuity in the government. The agreements made in Parliament were not respected. We held more than 60 meetings of leaders and blocs, using our credibility to garner support. But we were obliged to abandon that mission.

6. In any case, I am president of the PMDB and you decided to ignore me, calling the leader [Leonardo] Picciani and his father to make an agreement, without giving any notice to your Vice-President and the president of the party.

The two ministers, as you know, were named by him. And you had no hesitation in removing from the government Deputy Edinho Araújo, a deputy for São Paulo and an ally of mine.

7. Democrat that I am, I talk, Madam President, with the opposition. I have always done so, throughout the 24 years I have been in Parliament.

By the way, the first provisional measure of the fiscal adjustment was approved thanks to 8 (eight) votes by Democrats (DEM), 6 (six) by the Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB) and 3 by the Green Party (PV), and was approved by just 22 votes. I have been criticized for this, though this reflects a mistaken vision of our system. And it wasn’t without reason that on two occasions I reemphasized that we should reunite the country. But the government decided to divide and criticize.

8. I addition, I recall that you had a two-hour meeting with Vice-President Joe Biden – with whom I have built a good friendship – without inviting me. This led Biden’s team to ask: what must have happened, if in a meeting with the Vice-President of the United States, his Brazilian counterpart is not present? Beforehand, during the episode of the American “spying”, when relations began to improve, you sent the Minister of Justice to talk with the Vice-President of the United States. All this suggests an absolute lack of trust.

9. More recently, a conversation of ours (the two highest authorities in the country) was published, but in a misleading manner that had nothing to do with the content of the conversation.

10. Even the program “Uma Ponte para o Futuro” [“A Bridge to the Future”], which has been welcomed by society, and the proposals of which could be used to help recover the economy and rescue confidence, was seen as a disloyal maneuver.

11. The PMDB is conscious that the government aims to promote its division, something it has tried in the past without success.

You know that as president of the PMDB, I must maintain a cautious silence, seeking that which I have always sought: party unity.

Once this critical time has passed, I am sure that the country will have the stability to grow and consolidate social progress.

Finally, I know that you do not trust me and the PMDB today, and that you shall not tomorrow.

I am sorry, but this is my conviction.

Respectfully, ML TEMER

To Her Excellency Madam President


President of the Republic of Brazil

Palácio do Planalto

Brasília, D.F.


December 9, 2015 at 8:03 am

If Dilma Rousseff had her doubts on Temer then she has now been proven correct as this agent of Prince Philip tries to kick the boot in. Rousseff is being fitted up by Prince Philip in an attempt to hinder the nations BRICS connection just like Argentina was and how Maduro of Venezuela is being attacked by accusations and color revolution movements backed from both Westminster and the City of London.


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