Dilma Rousseff, once Brazil’s first female president, was stripped of her presidency by the Senate on Wednesday morning, with 61 votes supporting and 20 votes against her impeachment.
A few short hours after her impeachment, her former vice president and political ally-turned-enemy, Michel Temer, was sworn in as her successor until the end of 2018.
The following is some major information about Rousseff.
Born on Dec. 14, 1947, Rousseff was raised in an upper middle class family in the state of Minas Gerais. Her farther was a Bulgarian immigrant.
In her youth, Rousseff participated in the armed resistance known as Colina (an acronym for Command of National Liberation) and VAR-Palmares (Armed Revolutionary Vanguard), fighting against the de facto regime. She was imprisoned, tortured and spent three years in prison in the early 1970s.
After her release, she participated in the founding of Democratic Labor Party (PDT) in Brazil’s southern region. After studying economics, she became in the late 1980s the secretary of mines and energy of the government of Rio Grande do Sul, which made her known in the whole country.
Affiliated with Workers’ Party since 2001, she was the minister of energy during the first term of Lula da Silva as of January 2003, and in June 2005 she assumed the post of chief of staff after the former chief of staff resigned. As a former energy minister, she also holds a seat on the board of directors of the state-owned oil company Petrobras.
As chief of staff for the president, Rousseff was responsible for the major executive actions in Lula da Silva’s second term as president. During her tenure as chairman of the Board of Directors of Petrobras, Brazil reached self-sufficiency in oil production and mega reserves were discovered in the pre-salt layer of Brazil’s seabed, which may turn the South American country into a large oil exporter.
In 2010, Rousseff was hand-picked by then President Lula himself to run for his succession and in April that year she left the post as Chief of Staff.
She was elected president in the run-off on Oct. 31, 2010, with 56.09 percent of votes against 43.9 percent for her opponent Jose Serra, from the Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB). On Oct. 26, 2014, she was re-elected with a narrow second round victory over Aecio Neves also from the PSDB.
Divorced, she has a daughter named Paula Rousseff. In 2009, Rousseff had to undergo treatment for a cancer in the lymphatic system, from which she recovered quickly. Enditem
Source: Xinhua/News Ghana