By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The senate in Brazil voted on Tuesday night to go ahead with suspended President Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment trial. With 59 votes for and 21 against, senators approved a report that concluded that Rousseff should be impeached for mismanagement of funds. Now the process enters its final stage, with the voting by the Senate plenary.
The results were in line with expectations, and allies of the interim government of Michel Temer say that Rousseff’s impeachment is inevitable. In May Rousseff was suspended from office with then-Vice-President Michel Temer taking over.
Rousseff’s defense council, former Attorney General, Jose Eduardo Cardozo, insists that there is no proof that the suspended leader committed a crime and that the impeachment process is politically motivated.
During this final stage of the impeachment process, once again witnesses for the prosecution and for the defense will be heard.
According to Brazilian Congressional rules Rousseff will be permanently removed from office if one third of the senators (54 of the 81 lawmakers) agree with the accusations. The vote is scheduled to begin after August 25th according to Agencia Brasil.
Brazil’s first woman president has been accused of mismanagement of public revenues by borrowing money from state-owned banks to pay for social programs but not including these ‘loans’ in the federal accounting results.
Rousseff has reiterated her innocence noting that former presidents executed similar fiscal practices. According to prosecutors, however, the volume of loans obtained by the Rousseff administration was much higher than anything previously seen and that she is guilty of violating the Fiscal Responsibility Law.