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Thursday, 12 May 2016

Brazil Senators suspend President Rousseff, back impeachment trial

Brazilian Senators on Thursday suspended President Dilma Rousseff from the country’s highest office as they backed a motion to put her on trial for using accounting tricks to hide large budget deficits.

Rousseff, Brazil’s first woman president, could be impeached at the end of the trial and thus end 13 years of left-wing rule over Latin America's biggest nation.
As a result of the Senate's vote Rousseff must immediately cede power to vice-president-turned-enemy Michel Temer, who is not a member of her Worker’s Party (PT).
“Today Brazilians are waking up to a new political reality,” said FRANCE 24 correspondent Richard Tompsett from Rio de Janeiro.
The vote came after a nearly 22-hour debate in the Senate closed with an overwhelming 55-22 vote against Rousseff, with pro-impeachment senators breaking into applause.
“Throughout the marathon debate that preceded the vote, Senators came up one by one, making their arguments,” Tompsett said. “The tone was much more sombre than the raucous vote in the lower house last month."
Brazilians remained bitterly divided over Rousseff’s future.
Tensions were plain to see outside Congress, where police erected a giant metal fence to keep apart small rival groups of demonstrators.
Riot police pepper sprayed a group of Rousseff supporters late Wednesday and pro- and anti-impeachment protesters also scuffled briefly in Rio.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

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