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Dilma Rousseff impeachment: what happens next in Brazil

The lower house of congress has voted to impeach the Brazilian president, but the saga is far from over


Impeachment: step by step


Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff is fighting for political survival. The lower house has voted to send the motion to remove her from power to the senate. But several hurdles lie ahead. Here’s how the coming months will unfold.


By mid-May


The upper house must decide whether to accept the impeachment motion within ten sessions. If a simple majority (41 of the 81 Senators) approves, which is likely, Rousseff must step aside for 180 days while the charges against her are investigated in committee. During this time, she remains in the presidential residence, but her vice president Michel Temer assumes power on an interim basis.


Within 180 days


A full plenary of the senate, presided over by the chief justice, will sit in judgment on Rousseff. If two-thirds approve, which is uncertain, she will be ejected from office and Temer will be president until the next election in 2018.


Wild Cards


The process can be challenged at any time in the Supreme Court, though so far they have shown little inclination to protect the president.


Temer could also be removed from office as he too faces an impeachment process. This is unlikely to succeed given his strong support in the lower house, but if it does, Eduardo Cunha, the head of the lower house of congress, would become president.


Some politicians are also calling for early elections if Rousseff is impeached. This would require new legislation and perhaps a revision of the Constitution, which is problematic.


The Electoral Court is investigating alleged campaign financing violations in the 2014 election. If they find evidence of wrongdoing, they can invalidate the result, which would mean both Rousseff and Temer would be stripped of their posts and a new election would be called.



Source: The - Americas

Deputies vote in favour of the move to impeach president Dilma Rousseff. Photograph: Iano Andrade/EPA
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