Brazil's Rousseff loses crucial impeachment vote in Congress
Updated: 2016-04-18 10:31
Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff looks on during signing of federal land transfer agreement for the government of the state of Amapa at Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil, April 15, 2016. [Photo/Agencies]
BRASILIA - Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff lost a decisive impeachment vote in the lower house of Congress on Sunday and appeared almost certain to be forced from office in a move that would end 13 years of Workers' Party rule.
As thousands of pro- and anti-impeachment protesters demonstrated outside Congress, the leader of the Workers Party in the lower house conceded defeat with the vote standing at 314 votes in favor to just 110 votes against sending Rousseff for trial in the Senate on charges of manipulating budget accounts.
The surprisingly one-sided vote had a raucous atmosphere with opposition legislators crowding around the microphone and cheering every vote against the president. At least two deputies let off poppers full of confetti as they voted to impeach Rousseff.
If the Senate agrees to go ahead with the impeachment, as seems likely, Rousseff would be suspended from her post and be replaced by Vice-President Michel Temer as acting president pending her trial. Temer would serve out Rousseff's term until 2018 if she is found guilty.
The impeachment battle, which comes during Brazil's worst recession since the 1930s, has divided the country of 200 million people more deeply than at any time since the end of its military dictatorship in 1985.
It has also sparked a bitter battle between the 68-year-old Rousseff and Temer, 75, that appears likely to destabilise any future government and plunge Brazil into months of uncertainty.
- US presidential hopefuls battle for New York on eve of primaries
- AP, Reuters, New York Times among 2016 Pulitzer Prize winners
- US voters' anger over big money in politics mounts
- Japan quake survivors struggle with shortages
- Possible MH370 debris found in S. Africa being examined in Australia
- More cooperation among China, Russia, India in global affairs: Chinese FM