Brazil Senate votes to suspend president Dilma Rousseff

Vice-President Michel Temer will assume the presidency while she is away.

  • Published:
Demonstrators in support of removing the president from office rallied outside Congress in Brasília on Wednesday.  play

Demonstrators in support of removing the president from office rallied outside Congress in Brasília on Wednesday. 

(Felipe Dana/Associated Press)
24/7 Live - Subscribe to the Pulse Newsletter!

Senators in Brazil have voted to suspend president Delma Rousseff from office.

The vote begins an impeachment trial against her which could drag for more than 180 days.

Members of the Senate in Brasília reacted on Thursday after a vote to begin an impeachment trial against President Dilma Rousseff.  play

Members of the Senate in Brasília reacted on Thursday after a vote to begin an impeachment trial against President Dilma Rousseff. 

(Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters)

 

Vice-President Michel Temer will assume the presidency while she is serving her suspension.

Ms. Rousseff has vowed to fight her impeachment, saying it is politically motivated in an interview with the BBC.

She has been accused of manipulating  finances to hide growth deficit  ahead of her re-election in 2014. She has however denied it.

A last minute attempt to quash the Senate vote on her was rejected by the Supreme Court, paving the way for the vote today.

After hours of debate, 55 of the 81 lawmakers voted in favour of impeachment while 22 voted against.

“We could no longer ignore these crimes and thus voted for impeachment,” Senator Álvaro Dias said.

“Having been assaulted by incompetence and wrongdoing, Brazilians expect punishment.”

'Historic injustice' and a 'farce'

Attorney general Jose Eduardo Cardozo described the impeachment procedure as lacking a legal basis that the opposition wanted to remove a democratically-elected president.

He said lawmakers were  condemning an "innocent woman" and that impeachment was a "historic injustice," the BBC reported.

Brazilians are divided over the impeachment process, with rival protesters taking to the streets play

Brazilians are divided over the impeachment process, with rival protesters taking to the streets

(Roosevelt Cassio/Reuters)

 

Senator Fatima Bezerra from Rousseff Workers' Party called the vote "a farce".

"Those who back this coup d'etat won't ever be forgiven," she added.

Outside Congress, where a metal fence was erected to keep apart rival protests, about 6,000 backers of impeachment chanted "Out with Dilma", while police used pepper spray to disperse gangs of Rousseff supporters, who hurled flares back. One person was arrested for inciting violence, Aljazeera reported.

Demonstrators in support of removing the president from office rallied outside Congress in Brasília on Wednesday.  play

Demonstrators in support of removing the president from office rallied outside Congress in Brasília on Wednesday. 

(Felipe Dana/Associated Press)

 

Ms. Rousseff, 68, is the second Brazilian president to face impeachment since democracy was re-established in the mid-1980s after a long dictatorship. In 1992, Fernando Collor de Mello resigned before the Senate could try him on charges of corruption, according to the New York Times.

She was first sworn into office in 2011 and won a second term bid in 2014.

Do you ever witness news or have a story that should be featured on Pulse Ghana?
Submit your stories, pictures and videos to us now via WhatsApp: +233507713497, Social Media @pulseghana: #PulseEyewitness & DM or Email: eyewitness@pulse.com.gh.

Recommended Articles

Recommended Videos