Dilma Rousseff suspended pending impeachment trial


President Dilma Rousseff has lost her battle to avoid impeachment after the upper house, or Senate, voted in favour of proceeding with the impeachment a few weeks after the lower house, or Chamber of Deputies, voted to impeach her by 367 for, to 137 against.

On Monday the lower chamber’s acting president (Speaker) Waldir Maranhão tried to suggest that the earlier vote had been subject to irregularities and tried to have it annulled, but subsequently withdrew his ruling. With that glitch out of the way, the Senate continued with its plans to vote on Wednesday.

The Senate has 81 seats and 54 were needed for the next stage of the impeachment process to continue. In the end those in favour of impeachment amounted to 55 votes with a total of 22 Senators voting against the impeachment.

Dilma Rousseff will now be suspended for 180 days, whilst the Senate, led by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Federal Tribunal, Ricardo Lewandowski, examines the evidence and comes to a final decision. Meanwhile Vice-President Michel Temer of the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB) will take over and if the impeachment is successful then Temer will remain as president until the end of the presidential term in 2019. It requires two thirds of the 81 Senators to vote in favour within the 180 days for the impeachment to successful.

Temer has a massive job on his hands with a fractious Congress and an economy spinning out of control. Somehow, Michel Temer will have to calm markets, build an alliance through a new Cabinet and gain as many allies as possible in Congress, so that he can pass tough measures to bring the economy under control.

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