Showdown

Brazil’s lower house votes to impeach President Rousseff

(Igo Estrela/Getty Images)

Dilma Rousseff, Brazil’s first female president, is now facing an impeachment vote in the Senate after 367 out of 513 deputies in the lower house of Brazil’s Congress voted to remove her from office. With the necessary two-thirds majority reached, the chamber broke out into cheers and anti-government songs, and Jose Guimarães, leader of Rousseff’s Workers party in the lower house, conceded defeat, saying: “The fight is now in the courts, the street and the senate.”

As soon as the Senate agrees to vote on the impeachment, which is expected to happen within the next few weeks, President Rousseff’s government will at least temporarily be replaced with a centre-right administration under the leadership of vice-president Michel Temer. At this point it seems highly unlikely that the once immensely popular Rousseff will be able to survive these proceedings, as economic turmoil and corruption scandals have plagued her government. According to recent polls only 10 percent of Brazilians believe she is doing a good job, and 60 percent would approve of her removal.

Supporters of the president, however, point out that the grounds for impeaching her — the puffing up of government accounts before last election — are slim and only being used by far more corrupt and criminal politicians to stage a political coup. Nevertheless, hundreds of thousands of anti-government protesters took to the streets in Brazil yesterday to celebrate the vote and the prospect of political change.

Read the full story at The Guardian.

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