Posted by News Express | 12 May 2016 | 2,124 times
Brazil’s senators have voted to put President Dilma Rousseff on trial over allegations that she illegally manipulated the budget to hide a growing fiscal deficit.
After hours of debate, 55 against 22 of the 81 senators voted in favour of impeachment.
Rousseff will now be suspended from office and Vice President Michel Temer will take over for up to six months pending a decision on whether to remove her from office permanently.
A two-thirds majority will be needed to remove her permanently at the conclusion of the trial, with Temer remaining president until 2018 elections.
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.
In April, the lower house of parliament voted to impeach Rousseff, who has been president since 2011.
But on Monday, Waldir Maranhao, the interim head of the legislature’s lower house, threw the impeachment effort into disarray by annulling that vote, citing procedural problems.
He then reversed the decision several hours later, setting the stage for the vote in the Senate.
Deeply unpopular, Rousseff’s presidency has been damaged by corruption scandals, political paralysis and a sharp economic downturn.
About 11 million people are out of work.
Rousseff faces impeachment over accusations of tampering with figures to disguise the size of Brazil’s budget deficit during her 2014 re-election campaign.
She has denied any wrongdoing, and cast the efforts to remove her as a coup.
•Source: Al Jazeera and agencies. Photo shows embattled Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff.
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