Suspended Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff proposes plebiscite to avoid impeachment

Brasilia: Brazil's suspended President Dilma Rousseff has proposed a plebiscite be held on calling an early presidential election if she would be restored to power.

 Suspended Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff proposes plebiscite to avoid impeachment

File photo of Dilma Rousseff. AP

In a long letter read out "to the federal Senate and Brazilian people", Rousseff on Tuesday repeated her proposal for the South American country to hold early elections to enable political and electoral reforms which would overcome "the fragmentation of parties, make campaign financing moral and give more power to the voters".

"The full restoration of democracy requires that the population decide what is the best way to perfect the Brazilian political and electoral system. It is the only way out of a crisis," Xinhua news agency quoted Roussefff as saying.

The proposal was made more than a week ahead of a Senate impeachment vote against Rousseff on 25 August, four days after the end of the Olympics which is being held in Rio de Janeiro.

It is seen as her last-ditch effort to avoid a permanent removal from office.

Rousseff was suspended in May over accusations of violating fiscal rules to cover up a tremendous budget deficit during her 2014 re-election.

In the letter, Rousseff reiterated her denial of the accusations, adding that her forced removal from office would amount to "a coup".

"I am innocent," she noted. "There is no injustice more devastating than to condemn an innocent person."

Rousseff admitted her administration made mistakes and that she accepted "with humility and determination tough criticisms" of the errors.

Her current term ends in 2018. If she fails to survive the impeachment, interim President Michel Temer will serve out the remainder of the term.

The final phase of Rousseff's impeachment process is expected to last for about five days, and the actual judgement vote is reported to likely take place on 30 or 31 August.

A two-thirds majority in the Senate vote is needed to remove Rousseff from office.

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Updated Date: Aug 17, 2016 15:33:26 IST