Brazil’s embattled President Dilma Rousseff has told the BBC she is an “innocent victim” and vowed to fight to stop looming impeachment.
President Rousseff is accused of manipulating government accounts, which she denies.
The country’s Senate will decide whether to start an impeachment trial next week. If that happens she will be suspended from office for 180 days.
Recent polls conducted by Brazil’s major newspapers suggest that a majority of the 81 senators will vote in favour of the trial.
President Rousseff also said: “not enough efforts” had been made to tackle corruption in Brazil, but “the degree of effectiveness” increased during her administration.
She received the Olympic torch for the Rio 2016 Games, a ceremony which was a “bittersweet moment” for her as there was no certainty that she would attend the summer event as president.
“Yes, I believe, indeed, that I am a victim. And, of course, yes I am innocent. And at the same time, I am an innocent victim,” Ms Rousseff said.
“What we in the government believe and what my supporters believe is that the ongoing impeachment process is illegitimate and illegal.
“Because it is ultimately based on a lie, i.e. an indirect election under the guise of an impeachment process. What we will do is to resist, to resist, and to resist. And further fight to ensure that we will come out victorious on a merit basis and resume office,” she said.
Ms Rousseff is accused of manipulating budget figures in 2014 to make her government’s economic performance appear better than it was – ahead of her re-election.
The president has defended her government’s fiscal measures as common practice in Brazil.
Perhaps, in one way, the president has become resigned to her immediate fate – that the Senate will vote to subject her to a full impeachment trial, triggering her suspension from the presidency for up to 180 days.