Thursday, May 12, 2016

Brazil Senate Votes to Initiate Impeachment of Dilma Rousseff
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has been obliged to leave office for at least 180 days as a result of a 55-22 Senate vote to begin the process of impeaching her

May 12, 2016 17:05:40

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff commented on her Facebook page, "It's a coup," after the Senate decision made this afternoon, May 12, to initiate the process of impeaching her.

Rousseff is now obliged to leave office for at least 180 days, as a result of the Senate vote. Of the body's 81 members, 78 voted: 55 in favor, 22 against, with one abstention.

The President posted videos of her defense attorney, José Eduardo Cardozo, who insisted during the proceedings that judicial pretexts were being used to remove a legitimately elected President, resulting in "a historic injustice." The nation's Attorney General has previously said that minimum legal requirements for impeachment, such as proof of a "crime of responsibility" have not been met.

At this point, Brazilian authorities must present evidence that was not previously introduced in the lower chamber, or in initial Senate discussions which led to the vote to impeach Rousseff, who was reelected by more than 50 million Brazilians.

She has been accused of violating financial norms with accounting maneuvers to mask poor government performance in 2014 and 2015; modifying approved budgets by decree; incurring debt and awarding credit inappropriately.

The process was first begun in the Chamber of Deputies this past April 17, with a 367-137 vote.

The impeachment proposal then passed to a Senate Commission of 21 members who analyzed the case, and on May 6 voted to support Rapporteur Antonio Anastasia's report recommending a full Senate vote.

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