Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff defended her record in 13 hours of testimony before the Senate on Monday in a last ditch effort to avoid removal from office. During her testimony, Rousseff called the move against her “a coup d’etat,” saying it was the product of a betrayal by what she called “the evil wing of the PMDB.” The PMDB (Partido do Movimento Democrático Brasileiro) was Rousseff’s coalition partner. She charged that Acting President Michel Temer will take steps to end social programs and labor law protections for workers. Her comments drew sharp criticism. A leading PMDB figure, former Chamber of Deputies Speaker Eduardo Cunha, called her testimony “pure lies.” Cunha himself is under investigation for alleged bribery and money laundering. Acting President Temer issued a brief statement saying his administration has no intention of ending social and labor programs. Rousseff was forced into a leave-of-absence in April. She is charged with violating budget and banking laws. On Monday, she called the charges “a set-up.” The full Brazilian Senate is due to vote later this week on whether to remove her from office permanently. Such an action would make Temer into Brazil’s President in his own right.
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