Impeachment threatens Brazil's welfare programs: Rousseff

Updated: 2016-05-13 10:49


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Following a special Senate session that began early Wednesday and lasted nearly 22 hours, lawmakers voted to try Rousseff for inflating fiscal accounts in the lead-up to presidential elections that saw her reelected to a second term.

Rousseff has denied any wrongdoing, and vowed to fight to complete her term.

"On behalf of the votes I received, I will fight with all legal means to conclude my mandate on Dec. 31, 2018," said Rousseff, who won the votes of some 54 million Brazilians in the election, but failed to secure a decisive lead over her conservative rival.

Since the bitterly disputed October 2014 contest, the opposition has instigated political instability "to take by force what they failed to win at the polls," she said.

She called on supporters of her government to maintain a united front against what she called the illegitimate interim government that will take her place.

Vice President Michel Temer, who was made acting president Thursday, unveiled a new cabinet and is expected to announce spending cuts and pro-business measures to revert an economic slowdown.

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