Brazil’s suspended president discusses her impeachment trial, corruption allegations, and why she is optimistic.
Michel Temer, Brazil’s former vice president, has been sworn in as the country’s new president, a few hours after the country’s Senate voted to remove Dilma Rousseff from office.
Temer, 75, raised his hand and swore to uphold the constitution, drawing loud applause from his conservative supporters at Wednesday’s ceremony in a packed Senate chamber.
He is expected to stay in power until the next scheduled election in late 2018.
Temer promised a “new era” of government for Brazil.
“Today we inaugurate a new era of two years and four months” to see out the current presidential mandate, Temer told his ministers at a televised cabinet meeting.
Al Jazeera’s Lucia Newman, reporting from the capital, Brasilia, said the new president now carried “all the weight of this country on his shoulders.
“We are talking about a massive $60bn deficit, the worst recession this country has been in, double-digit inflation and millions of people out of work.”
Earlier on Wednesday, 61 of 81 senators voted to impeach suspended president Rousseff, after a five-day trial and a lengthy overnight debate.
“They decided to interrupt the mandate of a president who had committed no crime. They have convicted an innocent person and carried out a parliamentary coup,” Rousseff said in a statement following the Senate vote.
Speaking to reporters, Jose Eduardo Cardozo, Rousseff’s lawyer, said the former president would appeal against her impeachment.
But several motions filed to the country’s highest court throughout the impeachment proceedings have failed.
In a separate vote later on Wednesday, senators decided not to ban Rousseff from seeking a public office for the next eight years.
Rousseff, from the leftist Workers’ Party, is accused of taking illegal state loans to patch budget holes in 2014, masking the country’s problems as it slid into its deepest recession in decades.
Earlier this week, she told the Senate that she was innocent, saying the impeachment trial amounted to a right-wing “coup d’etat”.
Rousseff asserted that impeachment was the price she paid for refusing to quash a wide-ranging police investigation into the state oil giant Petrobras, saying that corrupt politicians conspired to oust her to derail the investigation into billions in kickbacks at the company.
She said it was “an irony of history” that she would be judged for crimes she did not commit, by people accused of serious crimes.
The Workers’ Party under Rousseff and her predecessor Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is credited with raising around 29 million Brazilians out of poverty.
But many now blame the party, and Rousseff in particular, for the country’s multiple ills.