RIO DE JANEIRO — The biggest party in President Dilma Rousseff’s governing coalition jumped ship Tuesday, increasing the chances that the leader of Latin America’s biggest country will be impeached.
Rousseff faces the possibility of impeachment over allegations of fiscal irregularities in her government’s accounting. But she is also struggling with a huge corruption scandal and an economy in recession, and her popularity has plummeted.
The departure of the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party, which was expected, made it more likely that some of the other 11 parties that normally support Rousseff’s party could abandon her, too. Under Brazil’s presidential system, Rousseff would still remain in office for the moment, even though her Workers’ Party has only 58 of the 513 seats in the National Congress. But it may be difficult for her to muster enough votes to stave off her removal by the legislature.
“It reinforces the odds that impeachment will occur,” said Christopher Garman, managing director and Brazil analyst at the consulting firm Eurasia Group.