BRASILIA (REUTERS)- Brazil's Supreme Court rejected appeals from President Dilma Rousseff's allies to stop the impeachment process launched against her this week in the Lower House of Congress, the court said on Friday (Dec 4).
Justices Celso de Mello and Gilmar Mendes rejected two appeals from lawmakers in the ruling coalition, including one filed by congressmen from Rousseff's Workers' Party. A third appeal filed by the Brazilian Communist Party (PCdoB) was still awaiting a decision, a court spokeswoman said.
The appeals were Rousseff's first line of defense against her impeachment, and their rejection by the Supreme Court reinforces expectations of a drawn-out political battle at a time when Latin America's largest economy is reeling from a deep recession and a vast corruption scandal.
The opposition has said Rousseff broke budget laws to safeguard economic stimulus during her successful re-election campaign last year. The president, in office since 2011 and re-elected a year ago, denies any wrongdoing.
Even though it may not ultimately unseat Rousseff, the process adds one more obstacle for a government struggling with gridlock in Brasilia as it seeks congressional support for policies meant to restore economic growth.