BRASÍLIA: Brazil’s impeached president Dilma Rousseff left the official presidential residence for the last time on Tuesday, flying to her coastal hometown as President Michel Temer jetted home from the Group of 20 summit in China.
Symbolically marking the end of an era of 13 years in power for the leftist Workers’ Party, Rousseff stepped out of the Alvorada Palace and into the blazing Brasilia sunshine, surrounded by some 100 supporters, former ministers and allied lawmakers.
Leaving the grounds, she got out of her car to greet supporters, who had scattered red and yellow flower petals at the entrance.
“I’m very sad, very sad, feeling like the country will be left a bit orphaned,” said one supporter, 56-year-old retiree Cecilia Monteiro.
Rousseff, 68, then boarded an air force plane to the southern city of Porto Alegre, her adopted hometown, where more supporters were waiting.
Temer, her vice president turned nemesis, meanwhile arrived home from China and was expected to move into the presidential residence in the coming days.
Rousseff, Brazil’s first woman president, was stripped of the presidency last week after a nine-month impeachment battle.
The Senate convicted her on charges of fudging the government’s budget by taking unauthorized state loans. Unofficially, she was also taking the blame for a deep recession, friction with Congress and a massive corruption scandal that tainted much of the political establishment.
Temer, a center-right political insider who broke his awkward alliance with Rousseff in March, has vowed to pass reforms to get the formerly booming economy back on track.
He will serve out the rest of Rousseff’s term until elections in 2018.