Brazil’s suspended President Dilma Rousseff on Friday expressed her sadness at not participating in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony, the first to be held in South America, that took place at the famed Maracana Stadium.
“I am sad not to attend the live and colourful party. However, I will be watching it, encouraging Brazil,” Rousseff said in a tweet.
Rousseff was invited by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to attend the ceremony, but she rejected the invitation.
The President, who was suspended from her post by the Senate to undergo an impeachment process, decided not to participate, alleging that she would not play a “secondary” role when she was the protagonist during the whole organisation process.
Rousseff, referring to set designer Abel Gomes — responsible for both the Games’ Opening and Closing Ceremonies, tweeted: “I am sure that @AbelGomes will create a great party. You can be sure that I will be rooting for you.”
This week, in an interview with Spanish daily El Mundo, Rousseff described Acting President Michel Temer, who will represent the Brazilian government, as an “intruder”.
“Imagine that you are going to throw a party, you have worked towards it for several years, creating the conditions, placing the lighting, calling the media, and on the day of the party, someone arrives and takes your place and takes over the party,” said Rousseff.
Similarly, former Brazilian presidents Luis Inacio Lula da Silva (2003-2010) and Fernando Henrique Cardoso (1995-2002) have also decided not to participate in the Opening Ceremony in support of Rousseff.