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Definition: Rousseff from Collins English Dictionary


1 Dilma (ˈdiːlmə). born 1947, Brazilian socialist politician; president of Brazil from 2011

Summary Article: Rousseff, Dilma (Vana)
From The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

Brazilian left-of-centre politician, president 2011–16. After serving President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva as chief-of-staff 2005–10 and, with Lula unable under the constitution to seek a third term, she stood as the Workers' Party (PT) candidate in the October 2010 presidential election. She was elected with 56% of the run-off vote, having benefitted from an economic boom that was underpinned by offshore oil discoveries and Chinese demand for Brazil's raw materials. On 1 January 2011 Dilma was sworn in as Brazil's first female president. She continued Lula's strategy of wealth redistribution towards the poor but faced problems from 2014 as oil prices and Chinese demand fell. In June 2013 she responded to popular protests against corruption, rising public transport fares, and inadequate education and health services with a package of reforms. In October 2014, she was re-elected, with 52% of the run-off vote. But in 2015–16 the Brazilian economy moved into deep recession, and her governing coalition fractured in the face of the $3 billion Car Wash (Lava Jato) corruption scandal. This involved PT and coalition partner politicians and the state oil company Petrobas, which she had chaired before 2010. Although not directly implicated in Lava Jato, Dilma was impeached by Brazil's Congress and suspended as president in May 2016. She was removed from office on 31 August 2016 after the senate ruled that her government had manipulated government accounts ahead of the 2014 election.

Dilma was born in Belo Horizonte, in the state of Minas Gerais. Her father was an immigrant from Bulgaria. During the mid-1960s, she became involved in left-wing politics and joined the underground resistance to the military dictatorship which ruled Brazil 1964–85. In 1970, she was arrested in São Paulo and jailed for three years, but she denied being actively involved in armed operations. In 1973 she moved to Porto Alegre, in Rio Grande do Sul, in south Brazil, where she studied economics at university, set up the Democratic Labour Party, and campaigned for the return of democracy. In the 1980s and 1990s she held posts in the Rio Grande do Sul government, including energy and communications. An experienced administrator and economist, she joined the left-of-centre PT in 2001 and was appointed energy minister in 2003 by President Lula da Silva.

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