Fall of the BRICS
Brazil’s Ruling Coalition Collapses

Facing impeachment, Brazil President Dilma Rousseff has struggled to hold together her ruling coalition. Her efforts have failed. Reuters:

Brazil’s largest party announced on Tuesday it was leaving President Dilma Rousseff’s governing coalition and pulling its members from her government, a departure that sharply raises the odds she could be impeached in a matter of months.

The Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB) took just a few minutes to decide unanimously in a packed leadership meeting that its six ministers in Rousseff’s Cabinet and all other party members with government appointments must resign immediately.

Under Brazil’s presidential system, Rousseff will remain in office but the break cripples her fight against impeachment proceedings in Congress, which could put Vice President Michel Temer, leader of the PMDB, in the presidential seat.

The PMDB is Brazil’s largest party, so losing its support could be the death knell for Dilma’s presidency. Lower House Speaker Eduardo Cunha, a member of the PMDB, had opened the door to an impeachment vote late last year—a move he said he made reluctantly.

Dilma’s demise mirrors that of Brazil’s economy, the BRICS, and Latin Lefty movements across the continent. Their sudden collapse would have been unthinkable just a few years ago, but now, commodity-exporting giants Russia, Brazil, and South Africa are all struggling to cope with China’s weak demand, and despite the early enthusiasm surrounding Prime Minister Modi, India’s economy isn’t picking up as much of China’s slack as investors had hoped.

Still, despite the struggles of its BRICS compadres, it’s difficult to think of a fall more dramatic than once-mighty Brazil’s.

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