Brazil lower house votes in favor of Rousseff impeachment

Brazil lower house votes in favor of Rousseff impeachment

[JURIST] The lower house of Brazil’s National Congress [official website] on Sunday voted in favor of impeachment [press release, in Portuguese] of President Dilma Rousseff [BBC profile] for manipulating government accounts. The Chamber of Deputies voted for impeachment by the required two-thirds majority, splitting 367 to 137. The matter now moves to the upper house, whose 81 members will vote by simple majority whether to hold a trial. That vote is expected in May.

Last week the Supreme Federal Court of Brazil denied [JURIST report] the president’s request for an injunction to suspend the impeachment vote. Previously the court ordered [JURIST report] the legislature to commence impeachment proceedings against Vice President Michel Temer. In December the court ruled [JURIST report] on two measures to set the stage for impeachment proceedings against Rousseff: one requiring the re-formation of a congressional committee set up to guide Rousseff’s impeachment through Congress, and the other giving the Senate power to review a lower house vote for impeachment. Rousseff’s opposition claimed [JURIST report] that she doctored documents to hide the size of the national deficit in order to spend more government funds as her re-election neared. It is also believed she continued to forge documents in her second term and spent over USD $210 million without the legislature’s approval. Rousseff argued that the opposition is trying to impeach her to hinder government actions.