Brazilian Senate to hold impeachment trial against President Rousseff

BRASILIA, Brazil, Aug. 10 (UPI) — The Brazilian Senate voted Wednesday to indict President Dilma Rousseff and hold an impeachment trial over accusations she broke budget laws.

The Federal Senate voted 59-21 in favor of holding an impeachment trial after debates on Tuesday that lasted into the early morning hours of Wednesday. The vote to proceed needed a majority of senators — 41 — for a trial to commence.

Rousseff is accused of covering up budget deficits by taking out unauthorized loans from state banks and of spending money without congressional approval during the 2014 presidential campaign. Rousseff said her actions were common practice under previous administrations, accusing her political rivals of plotting a coup d’etat against her.

A final impeachment vote would need a two-thirds majority — 54 senators — to permanently remove Rousseff from the presidency. Rousseff, who has been suspended, will resume the presidency if the two-thirds majority is not reached.

Michel Temer, who was serving as vice president but received a promotion to president upon Rousseff’s suspension, will serve as president until the Brazilian presidential elections in 2018 if Rousseff is removed from power.

Rousseff has also accused Temer, her former running mate, of plotting a coup against her. Supreme Federal Court President Ricardo Lewandowski will set a date for a final vote against Rousseff, the Federal Senate said in a statement.

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