Brazil's vice-president Michel Temer has rejected allegations from President Dilma Rousseff that he is conspiring to launch a parliamentary coup against the leftist leader.
After a vote by the house of congress on Sunday night in favor of her impeachment, Ms Rousseff is to fly to New York on Thursday night for a UN meeting on Friday where she is also expected to give media interviews portraying the impeachment process as unconstitutional and a coup.
"There is no coup whatsoever happening here in Brazil," Mr Temer, who has otherwise largely stayed out of the front lines of the impeachment battle, told the Financial Times in a rare interview. "Various ministers of the Supreme Court have said the possible impeachment of the president of the republic would not represent a coup. It is a constitutional process."
The comments mark an escalation of the impeachment battle as an increasingly desperate Ms Rousseff seeks international support to avert her possible removal from power as early as next month.
Struggling with a deep economic recession and a sweeping corruption scandal at state-owned oil company Petrobras, Ms Rousseff and her Workers' party, the PT, are facing the potential end of 13 years in power.