Lula: Rousseff could survive impeachment vote
BRASILIA, April 15 (Xinhua) -- Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said Friday that he believed the impeachment vote against incumbent President Dilma Rousseff on Sunday in the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of the National Congress, would fail.
"Dismissing a democratically elected government without a crime of responsibility will not solve anything, it will only worsen the crisis," said Lula in a message released to the press and lawmakers on Friday.
Lula urged the lawmakers to unite their strength to make Brazil a country with strong institutions, and not to take "an unthinkable step" on Sunday.
He also said that he would use his experience as a former president to "aid the rebuilding of dialogue and unity in this country."
Last week, Lula began meeting with many political leaders in the Chamber of Deputies to try to gather enough votes to help Rousseff survive the impeachment crisis.
"There have been extraordinary protests across the country in defense of legality. This shows that, outside of democracy, we will only have chaos and permanent uncertainty," he said.
Despite his strong support, a running tally from Brazilian daily O Globo indicated that 342 deputies are in favor of impeachment, 123 are against and 48 are undecided. If the number of votes favoring impeachment exceeds 342, the matter could be referred to the upper house of the National Congress.
Rousseff had hoped to make a final address to the nation on television on Friday evening, which was suspended on Friday afternoon after the opposition Solidarity Party filed a motion at a federal court in Brasilia to stop Rousseff "from using public television for personal reasons."
According to O Globo, the speech, which has already been recorded, would have seen Rousseff defend her mandate, the legitimacy of her election victory in 2012 and the illegitimacy of the impeachment vote.
The newspaper said the government was still debating whether to release the speech on social media.
On Saturday, Rousseff is expected to take part in a political event in Brasilia at the Mane Garrincha Stadium, where thousands of supporters have been camping out.