By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – The Brazilian Senate opens up a decisive week for President Dilma Rousseff on Monday, with Senate president, Renan Calheiros scheduled to read Friday’s decision by a special commission, which voted in favor of opening up an impeachment process against Rousseff. Last week’s decision leads Rousseff one step closer to losing her post as Brazil’s first woman president.
With the reading of the decision, the Senate now has 48 hours to vote on whether or not to accept the special commission’s suggestions. If the Senate accepts the decision, which political analysts say is very likely, President Rousseff will be suspended from the Executive office for up to 180 days, while the Senate holds an impeachment trial.
According to analysts, the Senate is expected to vote for the suspension of the President between Wednesday and Thursday. At that time, Vice-President Michel Temer will take over as interim leader.
President Rousseff is accused violating the country’s fiscal responsibility law when she used loans from state-controlled banks to cover up a bigger deficit in the federal government’s budget in 2015. She is also accused of mismanagement of public funds.
Rousseff has denied any wrongdoing stating at times that the loans were used to pay for social welfare programs. She has also stated that the practice of taking loans from state-owned financial institutions has been common in previous administrations without it being questioned.
President Rousseff and her PT party (Workers Party) have denounced the proceedings as a coup of a democratically-elected official, saying that opposition parties did not accept the 2014 Presidential election results.
Meanwhile, according to local media, VP Temer has already started to set up the interim government and assemble his team of cabinet members. In the past few weeks names like former Central Bank president, Henrique Meirelles, and ‘soybean king’, Blairo Maggi, have appeared in local media as names likely to be part of Temer’s cabinet, as Finance Minister and Agriculture Minister, respectively.