Brazil's Rousseff accuses opponents of 'coup-mongering'

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Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff speaks at union meeting in Sao Paulo. Photo: 13 October 2015Image source, AFP
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Dilma Rousseff was re-elected less than a year ago but currently has record low popularity ratings.

Embattled Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has accused the political opposition of seeking to oust her government by "coup-mongering".

Speaking at a meeting of union leaders, Ms Rousseff also said her opponents were spreading hatred and intolerance across the country.

Her comments come after an audit court last week ruled that she broke the law in managing last year's budget.

The opposition says this could pave the way for impeachment proceedings.

Ms Rousseff was re-elected less than a year ago but currently has record low popularity ratings.

Corruption scandals

Addressing the gathering in Sao Paulo on Tuesday, the president accused the opposition of practicing "deliberate coup-mongering" against a "project that has successfully lifted millions of Brazilians out of poverty".

"The artificiality of their arguments is absolute, their poisoning of people in social networks, their relentless game of 'the worse she does, the better for us'," Ms Rousseff was quoted as saying by Reuters.

Her remarks follow the ruling of the Federal Accounts Court on accusations that the government borrowed money illegally from state banks to make up for budget shortfalls.

The minister who handled the case in the court, Augusto Nardes, said the government disregarded fiscal and constitutional principles in the handling of the 2014 accounts.

The irregularities amount to more than $26bn (£17bn; 100 bn reais), according to the court.

The opposition said after the ruling it would seek impeachment proceedings in the Congress.

Also last week, Brazil's top electoral authority said it would re-open an investigation into alleged misuse of funds during Ms Rousseff's re-election campaign.

The Brazilian economy has gone into recession and is expected to shrink by 3% this year.

The government's popularity has fallen amid corruption scandals involving senior politicians from Ms Rousseff's Workers' Party and other coalition members.