Brazilian Senate vote to suspend President Rousseff

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff was today suspended after the country's Senate voted to put her on trial over allegedly breaking budget laws.

Dilma Rousseff, January 2011
Image: [Agência Brasil].

The vote, after a marathon Senate session running through the night, resulted in 55 of 77 senators present voting in favour of putting President Rousseff on trial. While only a majority was needed to suspend the President, these numbers if duplicated later would be enough to remove her from office at the end of the trial, when a two-thirds vote would be needed.

President Rousseff now faces charges of hiding the extent of the public deficit in the lead up to the 2014 general election, where she was re-elected. She has denied all charges, calling the impeachment a "coup". The trial is to be heard by the Senate, and can last up to six months.

Michel Temer, currently serving as Vice President, is to serve as President while the trial is being heard.