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Brazil's Senate Votes to Try Rousseff


Suspended Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff waves to supporters after the Brazilian Senate voted to impeach her for breaking budget laws, at Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil, May 12, 2016. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker

Suspended Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff waves to supporters after the Brazilian Senate voted to impeach her for breaking budget laws, at Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil, May 12, 2016. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker


The Brazilian Senate voted on Thursday to put President Dilma Rousseff on trial for breaking budget laws by 55 votes to 22.

Brazil's first woman president will be suspended for up to 180 days. Vice President Michel Temer will become acting president during her trial.

Rousseff has been charged with manipulating budget accounts before her re-election in 2014. The manipulation made the country’s economy appear stronger than it was. Rousseff has denied any wrongdoing.

Brazil’s lower chamber of Congress voted on April 17 to begin the impeachment process against Rousseff. Earlier this week, Waldir Maranhao, the acting speaker of the lower chamber of Congress, called for a new vote in the impeachment process against Rousseff. He said there were problems in the way the lower chamber voted. Maranhao himself voted against the impeachment process.

However, he and Senate leader Renan Calheiros said the debate and vote would go ahead Wednesday as scheduled.

The Supreme Court also rejected last-minute efforts by Rousseff and her supporters to delay the Senate vote.

The impeachment process comes as Brazil is dealing with a recession, a corruption investigation of top politicians and businessmen, and an outbreak of the Zika virus. The country is set to host the Olympics in August.

Members of Brazil's Senate react after a vote to impeach President Dilma Rousseff for breaking budget laws in Brasilia, Brazil, May 12, 2016.

Members of Brazil's Senate react after a vote to impeach President Dilma Rousseff for breaking budget laws in Brasilia, Brazil, May 12, 2016.

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