Brazil’s senate stripped Dilma Rousseff of presidency

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Brasilia, Sep 1, 2016: In a major blow to Brazil’s first female President, Dilma Rousseff, on Wednesday country’s Senate has voted to remove President Dilma Rousseff from office for allegedly manipulating the budget.

Rousseff, of the centre-Left Workers’ Party, will be replaced by Vice President, Michael Temer.

Temer has been acting as interim leader since she was suspended in May. He will now sworn in as president and will serve out Rousseff’s term until 1 January 2019.

However, a motion to ban her from public office for eight years was defeated, media reported.

Lawmakers voted after a five-day hearing in which half a dozen witnesses and more than 60 senators spoke, concluding around 3.30 a.m. on Wednesday morning.

The Senate voted 61-20 to convict Rousseff for allegedly breaking budget laws to manage public accounts before her 2014 re-election. However, Two-thirds of Brazil’s 81 senators, or 54 votes, were needed to remove Rousseff from power.

Despite never losing an poll, Rousseff – who first won power in 2010 – has seen her support among the public and in congress diminish as a result of a sharp economic decline, government paralysis and a massive bribery scandal that has implicated almost all the major parties, media reported.

For more than 10 months, the leftist leader has fought efforts to impeach her for front loading funds for government social programmes and issuing spending budget decrees without congressional approval ahead of her reelection in 2014. The opposition claimed that these constituted a “crime of responsibility”.

Rousseff denies this and claims the charges – which were never levelled at previous administrations which did the same thing – have been trumped up by opponents who were unable to accept the Workers’ party’s victory.

Wefornews Bureau

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