Brazil’s first female leader, Dilma Rousseff, was stripped of the presidency today as the country’s Senate voted to impeach her for allegedly breaking budget laws to massage public accounts before her 2014 re-election.
Ms Rousseff, of the centre-left Workers’ Party, will be replaced by her vice president, Michael Temer, who has been acting as interim leader since she was suspended in May. She also faces a vote on whether she should be banned from public office for eight years.
Lawmakers voted after a five-day hearing in which half a dozen witnesses and more than 60 senators spoke, finishing at around 3.30am this morning.
Ms Rousseff testified in her own defence on Monday in an uncompromising speech that branded the plot to oust her a “parliamentary coup”, warning that “democracy is condemned along with me”.
The president, who was re-elected two years ago with 54 million votes, and her supporters, claimed the charges against her were a pretext devised by her political opponents, many of whom have been implicated in the wide-reaching anti-corruption probe, Lava Jato (“Car Wash”).
Both Ms Rousseff and Mr Temer are expected to make an address today to mark the end of an eight-month process that has paralysed Brazil and prolonged its worst economic crisis in more than a century.
Mr Temer is expected to join world leaders next week at the G20 summit in China.