Brazilian officials resign amid scandal

According to media reports Friday, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff is expecting to hear whether the country’s Supreme Federal Court will deal her a knockout blow or a saving grace.

As reported by CNN, Rousseff is awaiting a ruling that could destroy her presidency while many of her key political allies remain ensnared in a wide-ranging corruption scandal.

The case before the court involves Rousseff’s appointment of ex-President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who faces a corruption investigation, to her Cabinet — a move that would help shield him from prosecution.

The Supreme Federal Court reconvened Wednesday but made no decision on the case.

Rousseff’s government also was dealt a smaller blow when the country’s sports minister resigned a little more than four months before the start of the Summer Olympics.

George Hilton’s resignation came in an announcement late Wednesday. Ricardo Leyser, a senior official in the Sports Ministry, will be replace him on an interim basis.

The International Olympic Committee said it is following political developments inside the country but expressed optimism that the games will go on as planned.

“The Brazilian people will deliver a memorable Olympic Games full of their passion for sport for which they are world-renowned,” an IOC statement said. “We are very confident that Brazil will offer to the world excellent Olympic Games of which the whole country can be proud.”

Brazilian news media have suggested Rousseff planned to offer the vacated ministries to the six smaller parties that remain in her coalition in a bid to help her secure their support in an upcoming congressional vote on impeachment proceedings against her. Rousseff faces impeachment on charges she violated fiscal rules and needs 172 out of 513 votes in the lower house to bury the proceedings.

But the defection of the PMDB, which has been a key part of the governing coalitions since Brazil emerged from military dictatorship in 1985, appears to have made it more difficult for her to avoid impeachment.

Rousseff’s approval rating has plummeted amid the worst recession in decades, rising unemployment and an outbreak of the Zika virus, which has been linked to a spike in cases of a rare birth defect.