Brasília, Mar 22: Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff today said she had committed no crime and would "never resign" despite corruption allegations, branding efforts to impeach her as a "coup" attempt.
In a defiant speech from the presidential palace, the leftist leader fired back at those seeking her ouster amid a spiraling corruption scandal, a deep recession and a political crisis that has virtually paralyzed her government.
"I committed no crime that could justify the interruption of my mandate under the constitution," she told a cheering crowd of supporters and legal experts she had gathered to back her.
To those seeking to force her from power, she said: "There is just one name for that: a coup." "I will never resign," she insisted. "Not under any circumstances."
In the impeachment case, Rousseff is accused of manipulating the government's accounts to boost public spending and hide the magnitude of the recession.
But a senator charged in the corruption scandal explosively alleged last weekend that she "knew everything" about the multi-billion-dollar graft scheme at state oil company Petrobras and used some of the proceeds for her presidential campaigns.
Rousseff, who vehemently denies the accusation, played up her history fighting the 1964-1985 dictatorship in Brazil, under which she says she was tortured while in prison. "I have already been the victim of crimes during the military dictatorship," she said.