After several hours of deliberation, Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff is now facing impeachment after a sizable majority of the Chamber of Deputies in the capital Brasilia voted in favor of the proceedings before the ruling Workers’ Party conceded defeat. The vote ended weeks of debate that saw confidence in Dilma Rousseff’s administration significantly weakened amid massive protests. The motion is now being sent to the Federal Senate, wherein Rousseff’s removal as president for corruption becomes likely through impeachment trial.
Brazilian lawmakers began casting votes on approving the impeachment trial of President Dilma Rousseff in the afternoon after a heated three-hour prelude and proceedings went well into the night as the deputies were given time to speak as they cast their votes. The largest nation in South America had been in turmoil recently due to a massive corruption scandal and the worst financial crisis in Brazil’s modern history, sparking protests all over the country.
A two-thirds majority vote (342) from the 513 members of the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of the Brazilian Congress, was needed in order to approve Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment. Tensions were indeed high as the session went underway, while wild cheers from both pro- and anti-impeachment protesters were heard with each vote cast as they watched the session on large television screens.
Popular dissent against the corruption within President Dilma Rousseff’s government began in early 2015 after it was revealed that numerous politicians, mostly from the Workers’ Party, may have been accepting bribes from the state-owned energy company Petrobras from 2003 to 2010. Dilma Rousseff had been part of the company’s board of directors during this time, raising concerns regarding conflict of interest and nepotism within her administration.
Aside from Dilma Rousseff, her predecessor Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was found to be engaging in money laundering on March of this year, which set off a record number of protesters to rise up. Protests in favor of Dilma Rousseff’s ouster took place on March 13, with between 3 to 7 million Brazilians taking to the streets to express indignation over Brazil’s corruption problem and worsening economy under Dilma Rousseff. More sudden protests occurred on March 16 after more allegations came out against Dilma Rousseff and Lula Da Silva.
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) April 17, 2016
Rousseff had been engaging in last-minute negotiations with lawmakers the day before in an effort to get enough votes to prevent her impeachment. The embattled 68-year-old was re-elected in 2014 by a narrow margin, before which she’s been alleged of having public accounts tampered with to hide a huge budget deficit that was most likely a result of stealing from the nation’s coffers and exacerbated by the biggest economic crisis in Brazil since the Great Depression.
— Lulu Garcia-Navarro (@lourdesgnavarro) April 17, 2016
This political crisis has seen Brazil divided between the leftist sympathizers of Dilma Rousseff and Lula da Silva and supporters of the centrist vice president Michel Temer, who is to be next in line for the presidential office if Rousseff does gets ousted. In the meantime, Rousseff herself denies the charges and accuses her opponents of “mounting a coup.”
For more on how Dilma Rousseff’s second term of presidency came to this, you may refer to this article here on The Inquisitr.
[Image via AP Photo/Eraldo Peres]