Brazil’s PMDB party abandons Rousseff, quits coalition

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazil’s largest party abandoned President Dilma Rousseff’s government on Tuesday in a decision that diminishes the possibility that she will survive mounting pressure in Congress for her impeachment.

The Brazilian Democratic Movement Party known as the PMDB said that its members are leaving Rousseff’s governing coalition. The break increases the chance that Rousseff, whose popularity has plunged amid Brazil’s worst recession in decades and corruption scandals, will be impeached in the coming months.

The announcement was made after more than 100 lawmakers approved the decision, according to the press office of Romero Juca, an influential senator. Six cabinet ministers belonging to the party as well as some 600 federal government employees who are members of Democratic Movement must step down immediately.

“The decision was taken by acclaim in a historical meeting marking the withdrawal from Dilma (Rousseff’s) government,” Juca wrote on his Twitter account.

The leader of the Democratic Movement party is Brazil’s vice president Michel Temer, who would assume the presidency if Rousseff is impeached for breaking fiscal laws.

A recent poll by the respected Datafolha agency says 68 percent of people surveyed want to see lawmakers vote to impeach Rousseff.