Brazil’s Federal Senate to vote whether to impeach Dilma Rousseff

BRASILIA, Brazil, Aug. 31 (UPI) — Brazil’s Federal Senate on Wednesday voted 61 to 20 in favor of removing Dilma Rousseff from the presidency over accusations she broke budget laws.

“The plenary approved the removal of Dilma Rousseff from office of President of the Republic. There were 61 votes in favor and 20 against. All 81 senators voted,” the Federal Senate said in a statement.

The final impeachment vote needed a two-thirds majority — 54 senators — to permanently remove Rousseff, who has been suspended since May, from the presidency.

Senators met for six days as part of the impeachment trial. 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.

Brazilian Sen. José Medeiros previously said that Congress and the Brazilian government will need to work together to rebuild Brazil if Rousseff is impeached. He said the creation of jobs is a priority.

Brazilian Sen. Otto Alencar previously said that Brazil has been “abandoned” in the past 20 months during the government’s political crisis. He said parliament must unite, adding that he would vote to impeach Rousseff to help solve Brazil’s problems without “ideological prejudice or partisan convictions.”

Rousseff has said her actions were common practice under previous administrations. She previously said the impeachment proceedings are a coup d’etat.

“I’m afraid that democracy will be damned with me,” Rousseff recently told senators. “I can’t help but taste the bitterness of injustice.”

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