Brazil’s Rousseff leaves presidential palace for good

Brazil’s first woman president, Dilma Rousseff says goodbye to Alvorada Palace as she returns to her hometown after impeachment battle.

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Former Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff greets supporters on her arrival at the Canoas air force base on September 6, 2016 after leaving Alvorada Palace.

Brazil's impeached president Dilma Rousseff has moved out of the official presidential residence for the last time on Tuesday.

President Michel Temer, her vice president turned nemesis, meanwhile arrived home from China and was expected to move into the presidential residence in the coming days.

Rousseff’s departure symbolically marks the end of an era of 13 years in power for the leftist Workers' Party.

Surrounded by a some 100 supporters, former ministers and lawmakers, Rousseff stepped out of the Alvorada Palace and into the blazing Brasilia sunshine.

Former Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff greets supporters at her departure from the Palacio Alvorada in Brazil on September 6, 2016.

Leaving the grounds, she got out of her car to greet supporters, who had scattered red and yellow flower petals at the entrance.

"I'm very sad, very sad, feeling like the country will be left a bit orphaned," said one supporter, 56-year-old retiree Cecilia Monteiro.

Rousseff, 68, then boarded an air force plane to the southern city of Porto Alegre, her adopted hometown, where more supporters were waiting.

Last week, Rousseff was stripped of the presidency after a nine-month impeachment battle. She was the first woman to be president of Brazil.

The Senate convicted her on charges of fudging the government's budget by taking unauthorized state loans. Unofficially, she was also taking the blame for a deep recession, friction with Congress and a massive corruption scandal that tainted much of the political establishment.

Rousseff called the impeachment process a “modern coup” that was aimed at protecting the interests of the country's economic elite.

Brazil's President Michel Temer holds a press conference on the sidelines of the G20 Leaders Summit in Hangzhou, in China's eastern Zhejiang province on September 4, 2016.

Temer, a center-right political insider who broke his awkward alliance with Rousseff in March, has vowed to pass reforms to get the formerly booming economy back on track.

On Tuesday, however, Temer scrabbled to distance itself from a multibillion-dollar corruption scandal that broke less than a week after he took office, involving fraud in the country's largest pension funds.

With the country already reeling from a sprawling bribery and kickback scandal at state oil company Petrobras, the new corruption case could hamper the conservative Temer's efforts to restore credibility and turn the page on the leftist government of impeached President DilmaRousseff.

He will serve out the rest of Rousseff's term until elections in 2018. 

TRTWorld and agencies