Brazilian Senate votes to impeach Dilma Rousseff

Aug 10, 2016, 7:11 AM EDT
Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff
(Source: Senado Federal/flickr)

Following a marathon debate that ended early on Wednesday, the Brazilian Senate voted to hold an impeachment trial against suspended President Dilma Rousseff, who is accused of breaking budget laws. The Senate voted 59 to 21 in favor of going ahead with the impeachment trial, which is likely to be held later this month after the Olympics closing ceremony.

Rousseff, the first female president of the country, denies allegations of committing fiscal irregularities, saying that she followed the practices common under previous administrations, writes the BBC.

If Rousseff is convicted in the impeachment trial, the acting president and her former running mate Michel Temer will take over permanently, writes CNN. Temer, who faced a string of protests just ahead of the Olympic Games, has been accused of orchestrating a political coup against Rousseff.

Rousseff’s allies in the Workers’ Party hit back, saying that many of the members of the Brazilian congress involved in the impeachment proceedings, themselves face charges of corruption. The trial will be followed by a final vote, in which the Senate needs to achieve two-thirds majority to oust the suspended president.