Suspended Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said Tuesday that she is “innocent” of charges leveled against her and asked the Senate to end a current impeachment process that could dismiss her administration.
“It is going to be necessary that the Senate close the impeachment process, recognizing that there was no crime of my responsibility, and that I am innocent”, Rousseff wrote in an open letter she read to the media at the presidential palace.
Rousseff also promised that if she is not dismissed at the trial that will begin Aug. 25, she would summon a plebiscite to allow voters to decide whether they want early presidential elections. The next elections are scheduled for 2019.
Rousseff is facing accusations of violating tax regulations on a federal budget in the run up to the 2014 elections. She has denied the allegations and said her predecessors took similar measures to calculate the budget.
“I’m convinced of the need and I will give my full support to the call of a referendum in order to consult the public on the early holding of elections,” she said, adding that if the impeachment process continues, it would amount to a “coup”.
Rousseff, who has been suspended since May 12, has also been blamed for one of the worst economic crisis in the country’s history. Her party is also linked to allegations of corruption at the state-run Petrobras oil company.
Rousseff can be removed from office if a two-thirds majority of the Senate finds her guilty.
If that happens, interim President Michel Temer would assume the presidency.
Temer has led the country since Rousseff’s suspension and is also being investigated in a separate corruption case.