Brazil Auditors Said to Consider Softer Vote on Rousseff Budget

Brazilian auditors examining the Rousseff administration’s budget for 2014 may refrain from giving a clear recommendation to Congress, a move that would buy the embattled president some breathing space, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter.

The new thinking is a departure for the auditors, who previously were inclined to suggest a rejection of Rousseff’s accounts in a vote expected for the end of the month. The decision from the tribunal known as the TCU has become so politically charged that the court’s nine members may choose a more neutral report, said the person who asked not to be named because he is not authorized to discuss future votes.

Opposition legislators say financing mechanisms used in 2014 could provide grounds for an impeachment hearing. Avoiding an outright rejection would be a victory for President Dilma Rousseff after the TCU in June said the accounting maneuvers violate the fiscal responsibility law. Attorney-General Luis Inacio Adams presented Rousseff’s defense last month and personally met with each of the TCU’s members.

A softer judgment from the tribunal would be the result of political pressure rather than legal arguments, the person said.

Nearly seven out of ten Brazilians say Rousseff is to blame for a corruption scandal surrounding state-owned oil company Petrobras and over 60 percent favor her impeachment, according to the latest MDA poll conducted in July 12-16.

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