The revolution will not be televised: Brazil, the end of Dilma Rousseff

How the former president ran Brazil

Since returning to power in 2016, on the back of his election promise of restoring normalcy after a period of political instability, he has maintained a clampdown on civil liberties and ruled by decree rather than “legally”.

A leftist populist who came to power in 2010 and was re-elected in 2014 with the backing of the leftwing Workers’ party, the 64-year-old became an unlikely hero for the poor. In her six years in power she fought with police, cracked down on corruption, threatened to reject IMF loans and cut back budgets at every opportunity.

Dilma Rousseff at the Zagreb summit. Photograph: Franck Fife/AFP/Getty Images

Rousseff had cut a striking figure when she arrived at the Brazilian presidency in 2010. As a former student activist, she showed solidarity with the political Left throughout her career. But once in office she was dogged by accusations of corruption which ultimately led to impeachment.

The seeds of a crack appeared in 2013, when Rousseff first raised eyebrows with a £450m budgetary deficit, as many feared there was a fiscal crisis. But when the country’s largest public sector union announced a general strike, the president stood by her decision to open a free trade zone.

Another rumour came when it was announced Rousseff would ask the federal prosecutors to investigate high-ranking Fifa officials involved in corruption. But the investigation continued for years.

In a set back to the coalition that backed her for re-election, business leaders started protesting against the government and she emerged as being unpopular with the establishment.

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