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Brazil’s President Rousseff impeached, faces trial

Brazilian Senate gives go-ahead for Rousseff’s impeachment trial

Brazil’s Senate on Thursday voted to impeach and suspend President Dilma Rousseff.

She is to face trial after being accused of illegally manipulating finances to hide a growing public deficit ahead of her re-election in 2014, which she denies.

Senators voted to suspend her by 55 votes to 22 after an all-night session that lasted more than 20 hours.

Vice-President Michel Temer, who has been waiting in the wings, will now assume the presidency while Ms Rousseff’s trial takes place.

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The trial may last up to 180 days, which would mean she would be suspended during the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, which start on August 5.

Ms Rousseff made a last-ditch appeal to the Supreme Court to stop proceedings, but the move was rejected. Her suspension brings an end to 13 years of the rule of her Workers’ Party.

Ms Rousseff, 68, who was first sworn into office in January 2011 and started a second term in 2015, has called the
steps to remove her a “coup”.

In a speech at the end of the all-night Senate session, attorney general Jose Eduardo Cardozo said that the impeachment request did not have legal basis and that the opposition wanted to remove a democratically-elected president.

He said senators were condemning an “innocent woman” and that impeachment was a “historic injustice”.

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