Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff will skip Rio Olympics opening ceremony

Rousseff is facing an impeachment trial in the days after the Olympics finish

Rio, Olympics, Summer Games, 2016, Dilma Rousseff, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva

Suspended Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff speaks during a press conference for foreign journalists at the Planalto residential palace, in Brasilia, Brazil AP Photo/Eraldo Peres]

Suspended Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff has revealed that she will officially boycott the opening ceremony next Friday. Together with her predecessor, former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, both leaders’ press teams said they will refuse to attend because of the ongoing allegations of financial impropriety they are both facing.

Rousseff and Lula da Silva have been removed from their current political office and are facing charges for allegedly flouting a number of budget regulations. Lula da Silva, who is largely credited with leading Rio’s successful bid to host the games, has also been implicated in scandal involving corruption at Petrobras, Brazil’s state-run oil company.

Awaiting her impeachment trial which is scheduled for shortly after the end of the 31st summer games, Rousseff has described the campaign led by her vice president Michel Temer as a political coup. As Brazil’s acting leader, Temer will not only take centre stage during the already troubled Rio Olympics. He will also seize power should Rousseff be impeached, and remain in the presidential office until the next election is called in 2018.

In an interview on Brazilian radio in recent months, Rousseff said that the only capacity in which she would attend the Rio opening ceremony is as president. “I do not intend to take a secondary role in the games in Rio,” she said.

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