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Latin America

Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff impeached

The Senate voted 61-20 to remove Rousseff from office. Michel Temer, her vice president, will take over.
31 Ago 2016 – 12:39 PM EDT
Brazil's president Dilma Rousseff impeached. Aug 31, 2016. Crédito: Reuters

By a 61-20 vote, Brazil's Senate voted Wednesday to permanently remove President Dilma Rousseff from office after she was accused of moving public funds to close budget holes.

Former Vice President Michel Temer, who became interim leader when Rousseff was suspended from office in May, will assume the presidency through the end of 2018. He was sworn into office today before traveling to China for the G20 summit.

The impeachment process, which lasted 274 days, took place amid an economic crisis and a corruption scandal involving the state-run oil company Petrobras. The opposition has accused Rousseff of tanking the economy.

She and her supporters have called the impeachment a "coup," and she says she will appeal to the country's Supreme Court. Rousseff's impeachment brings an end to 13 years of the left-leaning Workers' Party rule in the South American country.

In a 14-hour session Monday, Rousseff took questions from senators and maintained her innocence. "I know I will be judged, but my conscience is clear. I did not commit a crime," she said.

Normally, when a Brazilian president is impeached he or she loses his right to hold public office for eight years. This time, the Senate voted separately on this issue, and allowed Rousseff to keep her right to hold office.

Rousseff, who must now leave the presidential residence, is slated to retire to her home in southern Rio Grande do Sul state.