Brasília: Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff branded her vice president a traitor Tuesday and said he was a conspirator in a "coup" using impeachment proceedings to bring down a popularly elected government.
"If there were any doubts about my denunciation that a coup is underway, there can`t be now. The coup plotters have a leader and a deputy leader," she said in a blistering attack in the capital Brasilia.
Referring to the leak Monday of a recording in which her vice president, Michel Temer, practices the speech he would make if Rousseff is impeached, the president said: "The mask of the conspirators has fallen."
"We are living in strange and worrying times, times of a coup and pretending and treachery," she said. "Yesterday they used the pretense of a leak to give the order for the conspiracy."
"Yesterday it became clear that there are two leaders of the coup who work together in a premeditated way," she said, without naming names, although the context clearly referred to Temer and the speaker of the lower house, Eduardo Cunha.
"They are coup plotters, without respect for democracy," she said.
"This is the biggest judicial and political fraud in our history," she said. "They are trying to bring down without legal justification a president elected with 54 million votes."
Rousseff faces impeachment proceedings over allegations that she illegally manipulated government accounts to cover up the depth of budget woes.
The lower house of Congress was to vote on the impeachment at the end of this week.
If an impeachment trial then starts in the Senate, Temer would take over as president and if she is impeached, he would remain in power.
Opponents of Rousseff deny her frequent claims of a coup plot.