RIO DE JANEIRO, May 12 (Xinhua) -- The Senate decision to suspend her role as the Brazilian president was unjust and was the result of betrayal by her former allies, Dilma Rousseff told a crowd of supporters on Thursday, before departing the presidential office in Brasilia.

In a strongly-worded speech to the crowd who called her "warrior of the Brazilian nation," Rousseff denounced the impeachment process as a coup orchestrated by the opposition and the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party. The party, headed by Vice President Michel Temer, withdrew from the ruling coalition in March at a time of mounting political pressure on Rousseff.

While she may have had errors of judgment, she committed no crime, and under Brazilian law, an impeachment requires a crime of responsibility, Rousseff said, adding that devoid of such a crime, the impeachment process against her is illegitimate and "nothing more than a coup."

"This is the greatest brutality which can be done to a person: being convicted for a crime they did not commit. The injustice committed is irreparable," she said.

Despite the heavy blow against her administration, the first female president of Brazil left the Planalto Palace via the front door, holding her head up high. She was followed by the entire cabinet, including her predecessor and political mentor, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

Rousseff said she was impeached only because she refused to bow to the blackmail of currently suspended lower house speaker Eduardo Cunha, as it was his responsibility to start an impeachment process.

She noted that at first Cunha denied all requests to launch an impeachment against her, citing lack of legal basis for such a process.

However, after denouncements that he had received millions of dollars in bribes in the Petrobras corruption scheme, Cunha tried to use the impeachment as a bargaining chip, in an attempt to get the ruling Workers' Party to help prevent a probe into his acts by the House Ethics Committee.

"The person who started this coup did so out of revenge, because we refused to give him the votes he needed in the Ethics Committee. The press has reported that it was blackmail against the government, and I am not a woman who submits to blackmail," Rousseff said.

In the past few weeks, Rousseff left the company of politicians and got closer to social movements, regaining precious support which the Workers' Party neglected in the past few years.

A few weeks ago, she left the office to personally greet hundreds of women who had organized a march to support her, accepting flowers and giving hugs. She met with social leaders to pave the way for her resistance while waiting for the Senate decision on whether to open up a an impeachment trial against her.

The Senate has 180 days to proceed with the trial. During the period, Temer will take over the presidency. Meanwhile, Rousseff will keep the official residence, the presidential plane, her salary and personal staff.

Local media said Lula da Silva advised Rousseff to travel all over the country seeking support, but her next steps remain unknown.

She will seek all legal means to prevail in the end, Rousseff told supporters in the speech at the Planalto Palace.