GENEVA – Ecuador will review its ties with Brazil should that country’s Senate decide to permanently remove suspended President Dilma Rousseff, the Ecuadorian foreign minister said on Wednesday.
“Bilateral relations remain as they are for the moment and we are awaiting the result of the impeachment. Once we learn that, we will evaluate the diplomatic relations,” Guillaume Long told a press conference during a visit to UN institutions in Geneva.
“It is our understanding that President Dilma Rousseff is the constitutional president of Brazil until she is formally removed,” he said.
The foreign minister reminded reporters that Quito recalled its ambassador from Brazil in May to protest Rousseff’s suspension pending completion of the trial in the Senate and that the Ecuadorian Embassy in Brasilia continues to be led by the charge d’affaires.
Long pointed out that Rousseff is not accused of corruption, but of the “administrative” offense of accounting maneuvers aimed at minimizing the size of the budget deficit.
“I don’t recall a single case in history in which a president was removed from office accused of administrative offenses,” the foreign minister said. “That is a concern for the government of Ecuador.”
The Ecuadorian administration has misgivings about the potential ouster of an elected president, Long said.
Michel Temer, Rousseff’s vice president, was named interim president on May 12 after the Senate voted to put the elected head of state on trial.
Since taking the reins, Temer – under investigation for corruption – has pushed privatizations and sales of state assets, ideas that are strongly opposed by the majority of those who voted to give Rousseff a second four-year term in October 2014.