Dilma Rousseff Ousted in Historic Brazil Impeachment Trial

by Francisco Marcelino, Randall Woods, and Raymond Colitt

Dilma Rousseff became the second president to be impeached in Brazil’s 31-year-old democracy, paving the way for a fundamental shift in economic policy after 13 years of her party’s leftist rule.

With 61 against 20 votes, the Senate found Rousseff guilty of bypassing Congress to finance government spending, allowing her vice president Michel Temer to serve out the term until general elections in 2018. In a surprise move that diverged from the Constitution, legislators allowed Rousseff to hold public office, including as a civil servant, in the future. Rousseff vowed to appeal the vote where possible.

The decisions cap a tumultuous period that began after Rousseff’s narrow re-election victory in 2014 and exacerbated the worst recession in decades. Many legislators celebrated her ouster by singing the national anthem, while residents of the capital set off fireworks. Temer will be sworn into office in a Senate ceremony on Wednesday afternoon. He will address the nation in a pre-recorded broadcast later in the day.

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