Friday, April 15, 2016

Dilma Game Over?

FINANCIAL TIMES - Latam Viva: Your weekly briefing from the region
Dilma: game over?

By Samantha Pearson 
April 15, 2016
Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff has not had a particularly easy life. As a Marxist guerrilla, she was captured, tortured and spent three years in jail. She’s gone through two divorces and was struck down by lymphoma in 2009. As president, she’s received death threats and was regularly humiliated during the World Cup when thousands of fans swore at her in unison in front of the world’s media. But even by Rousseff’s standards, this has been a week from hell.
On Monday, a congressional committee voted in favour of impeaching her on allegations she illegally ran up debts with state banks. The same day, her vice-president Michel Temer ‘accidentally’ released a recording of his pre-prepared victory speech, addressing the nation as if he had already been handed the presidency.
On Tuesday, Brazil’s fourth-biggest party PP became the latest to abandon the ruling coalition and back Rousseff’s removal. On Wednesday, more political leaders came out in favour of her impeachment to the delight of the opposition, the financial markets and much of the country.
On Thursday, in a last-ditch attempt to save Rousseff and the legacy of the ruling Workers’ Party (PT), the attorney-general appealed to the Supreme Court to block the impeachment proceedings, calling certain aspects illegal. However, although many of the Supreme Court judges were appointed by the PT, they showed little loyalty during an emergency session on Thursday night and voted to reject the president’s plea.
Barring any more last-minute surprises, the lower house of congress is expected to vote on the impeachment motion on Sunday in the final nail-biting episode of Brazil’s political drama. If two-thirds of the 513 members approve the motion, as is now expected, it passes to the 81-member senate. If the senate votes by a simple majority to accept impeachment, the formal process begins and Temer takes over. He may need to write a new acceptance speech.
While Rousseff appears to be approaching the end of her political career, Peru’s Keiko Fujimori is hoping hers is just beginning. After winning almost 40 per cent of the votes in the first round of the country’s presidential elections on Sunday, she is betting that Peruvians will be able to ignore the dark legacy of her autocratic father who dissolved congress in 1992 and is currently in jail.
In the second round vote in June, she will face the former World Bank economist Pedro Pablo Kuczynski. If victorious, Fujimori would be Peru’s first female president – following in the footsteps of Brazil’s Rousseff but, for Peru’s sake, hopefully treading a different path.
Quote of the week
“Peru does not want extremism. We are the centre. What means being at the centre? Very simple: great economic growth to finance social investments” - Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, Peruvian presidential candidate
Expectations on Argentina's bond yields from FT Confidential Research poll.
The week in review
Cubans look to Communist Party Congress for evidence of reforms
A month after Barack Obama’s historic visit disenchantment and frustration are setting in
Brazil court rejects Rousseff’s push to halt impeachment vote
Blow to president as process looks set to go ahead
Investment in Panama: not all about secrecy
Panama Canal, energy and mining are all big draws
Brazil’s end game inspires fear and hope
Lawmakers will vote this weekend on whether to impeach President Dilma Rousseff
US appeals court clears way for Argentina bond sale
Affirmation of judge’s ruling to lift injunction that barred country from paying certain creditors
Mexico bails out Pemex, but is it enough?
What the vote on Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment means for Brazil
Country could enter uncharted territory if president refuses to accept result
Wheels fall off Brazil’s auto industry
Steep decline in annual sales raises doubts over investment and jobs
Attempted impeachment of Dilma Rousseff turns messy
Brazil’s president is desperately trying to cling to power, writes John Paul Rathbone
Cuba’s creditors hire sovereign expert for debt talks
Argentine national appointed by group that sees window for deal on defaulted debt
Prosecutors raid Panama Papers law firm Mossack Fonseca
Newly created organised crime unit investigates whether law firm was used for illicit activity
Rio ‘practically ready’ for Olympics
Mayor remains optimistic despite deepening political turmoil
Argentina flags up risks ahead of bond sale
Marketing material lists risks as Argentina prepares a multibillion-dollar return to the bond market
Drive to impeach Brazil’s Dilma Rousseff clears big hurdle
Congressional committee vote brings impeachment one step closer
Veteran eyes victory in Peru’s presidential run-off
Pedro Pablo Kuczynski at 77 hopes his economic record and experience will sway voters
Brazilians grow weary of the walking dead
The country’s political system suffers from a crisis of legitimacy
Fujimori leads first round of Peru presidential election
Daughter of disgraced former president remains a divisive figure
Argentina launches bond comeback roadshow
Latin American nation sidelined from debt markets since 2001 default
Venezuela risks a descent into chaos
Fears rise as evidence mounts of ‘state failure’ amid escalating violence
Antofagasta promotes Iván Arriagada to chief
Hernández steps down with immediate effect but will remain as an adviser to the board
Panama tries to stay cool as offshore heat rises
Mossack Fonseca revelations fail to dent philosophical spirit in Central American nation