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Opinion, by Michael Royster

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – For most spectators, the most surprising event of the entire impeachment proceeding was the abrupt division of the vote on impeachment (guilt or innocence) from the vote on punishment (loss of political rights).

The split vote seemed analogous to a football (soccer) match, where one team has been winning 1-0 for almost all of the match, until suddenly, in the very last minute of injury time, the losing side manages, out of nowhere, a goal to tie the score. For the team that was winning, the game feels like a defeat . . .

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