The senate of Brazil voted [press release, in Portuguese] on Thursday to suspend and initiate an impeachment trial against President Dilma Rousseff for allegedly borrowing from state banks to cover a deficit and pay for social programs to secure her re-election in 2014. The senate debated throughout the night and voted on Thursday morning 55 to 22 [tally, official website] to suspend the president. Vice President Michel Temer [NYT report] will act as leader of Latin America’s biggest country while Rousseff steps aside for her impeachment trial that could last six months [NYT report]. During her suspension, Rousseff will not have access to the presidential offices in the Planalto Palace and will not be part of any official host delegation during the upcoming summer Olympics.
Brazil’s political establishment has been in turmoil as many powerful politicians have been recently brought to the center of embarrassing corruption investigations. Last week Brazil’s Supreme Court suspended [JURIST report] lower house speaker Eduardo Cunha after being suspected of obstructing investigations into his allegedly corrupt activities. Also last week local Brazilian media reported [JURIST report] that the country’s top prosecutors had requested an investigation into Rousseff over alleged connected to the Petrobras corruption scandal. Although there is widespread opposition against Rousseff, her supporters who have rallied [JURIST report] in her support in the past could spell future turmoil in the country.