Brazil Senate committee votes to recommend Dilma Rousseff impeachment trial

May 6, 2016 6:56 pm

Brazilian President (AFP Photo)

A special Senate committee in voted on Friday to recommend the beginning of an impeachment trial against President Dilma Rousseff. 
The committee recommended that Rousseff be impeached on charges of breaking Brazil’s budget laws.
President Rousseff now faces suspension from office in less than a week.
The special committee voted 15-5 for her the impeachment trial.
The decision is non-binding but marks the last formal stage before the full Senate votes on May 11 on whether to put the president on trial. If she loses in the vote in the plenary, Rousseff would be suspended automatically.
The Brazilian president is said to be preparing to step aside for up to six months while her trial takes place.
During this period, Vice President Michel Temer, a center-right politician whose party recently broke off its shaky alliance with Rousseff’s Workers’ Party, would become interim president.
Despite allegations made against Temer by a key witness in the Petrobras scandal, the chief prosecutor has said he is not being probed in the case.
Brazil’s oil giant Petrobras scandal revealed wide-scale corruption in both public and private sector figures, skimming an estimated USD 3.8 billion off inflated contracts over a decade.

Brazilian Vice President Michel Temer (AFP Photo)

Rousseff’s impeachment is based on accusations that she made illegal accounting maneuvers to mask the depth of Brazil’s economic troubles during her tight 2014 reelection victory.
Brazil’s first female president says the charges are trumped up to turn the impeachment process into a coup d’état and that she will not give in.
“I have the nature of someone who resists and I will resist to the last day,” she said.
The impeachment battle, amid Brazil’s crumbling economy, and corruption probes against dozens of leading politicians and business executives have left the country in turmoil.
On Thursday, Fitch rating agency downgraded Brazil’s credit score down one notch.
It was already classed as speculative or “junk” grade and on Thursday Fitch shifted the rating down to BB from BB+.
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