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Brazilian Senate Approves Impeachment Trial Against President

REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino

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JP Carroll National Security & Foreign Affairs Reporter
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The Brazilian Senate voted Wednesday in a 59-21 vote to go ahead with an impeachment trial against suspended President Dilma Rousseff.

Rousseff has been awaiting the Senate’s decision on her political career for months now, dating back to May when she was suspended as Brazil’s president. The South American leader was put into a political purgatory after legislators determined that she had manipulated the country’s financial records to make the economy seem better off before facing voters in an October, 2014, reelection race.

An impeachment trial is set to take place in the week immediately following the end of the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics. Ahead of senators deciding to green light the trial, Brazilian Supreme Court President Ricardo Lewandowski told them that they would, “exercise one of the most serious tasks under the constitution,” by debating and then voting on an impeachment trial.

Rousseff is now officially indicted for toying with her country’s national budget. Nevertheless, the embattled leader has been fighting it out in the court of public opinion long before the Senate vote.

Fed up Brazilians have been protesting against her government’s corruption for months, and now have judicial permission to make politically-charged protests at Olympic venues after a Monday night ruling. The Brazilian government is currently being led by interim President Michel Temer.

During his brief tenure, Temer has also already been plagued by scandal. His tourism minister and transparency minister both resigned over corruption. The Olympic Games come to an end Aug. 21. The Senate needs to vote by a two-thirds majority to successfully oust the suspended president.

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