Brazil's immensely popular former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, chose his chief of staff to carry on with his legacy of economic growth with social justice.
But it didn't last. By the time Rousseff began her second term in 2015, Brazil was in turmoil.
Now Rousseff has been suspended to face an impeachment trial - abandoned by her allies and millions of Brazilians who accuse her of driving the nation's once healthy economy into the ground and of turning a blind eye to corruption within her own left-wing party.
It's the material political soap operas are made of: almost daily corruption scandals are splattering every political party, most recently, that of interim President Michel Temer.
This week, more leaked phone conversations revealed that two of his top ministers, including the man in charge of combatting corruption, were apparently trying to derail ongoing investigations into a multi-billion dollar bribery scheme.
Temer, who was until last month the vice president, turned against Dilma Rousseff, so she could face impeachment.
Rousseff is charged with having tampered with fiscal accounts to hide a massive budget deficit in order to get re-elected.
Yet, unlike a great many of those seeking her impeachment, she is not being accused of stealing money for herself.
In fact at least 60 percent of Brazilian lawmakers are under investigation or indictment for crimes ranging from attempted murder to massive corruption, including the president of the senate who will be overseeing the impeachment trial.
Rousseff claims her enemies are punishing her for refusing to block corruption investigations, but will the latest scandals involving the interim government be enough to save her?
Al Jazeera's Lucia Newman speaks to President Dilma Rouseff in Brasilia as the suspended leader faces a controversial impeachment trial which could remove her permanently from the presidency.
Rouseff discusses why she'll fight to be reinstated, the political fragmentation in the country, and what she plans to do to earn back the trust of the Brazilian people if she wins the Senate vote.
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