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Olympics Could Be Topped Off With Presidential Impeachment

REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino

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JP Carroll National Security & Foreign Affairs Reporter
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The Brazilian Senate plans on wrapping up the Rio 2016 Olympics with an impeachment trial against suspended President Dilma Rousseff, according to a Senate debate Tuesday.

Senators are expected to hold a final vote deciding on if they will have a trial against the suspended leader early Wednesday with a simple majority vote. If the senators vote in favor of an impeachment trial, a final vote on the matter will be taken up the week after the Olympics end — a two-thirds majority is needed to oust Rousseff.

The prospective impeachment trial has been hanging over Rousseff’s head since May, when Brazilian legislators suspended her of her duties and put her political life in legal limbo. Brazilian deputies, the equivalent of congressmen, and senators, determined in May that Rousseff had cooked the country’s books to make the economy seem better off ahead of a tight October, 2014, reelection campaign.

Social pressure will mount on the embattled president as a federal judge just lifted restrictions on politically-charged speech at venues hosting events for the Olympics, in a Monday night ruling. Besides local pressure from a frustrated Brazilian electorate, voices outside of Brazil have weighed in on the matter, including Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

Sanders has chosen to use his 2016 microphone to voice the contrarian view that Rousseff is the victim of a, “controversial impeachment process more closely resembles a coup d’état,” in a statement Monday. Sanders went on to opine that, “The effort to remove President Rousseff is not a legal trial but rather a political one.”

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