World Bulletin / News Desk
The Brazilian Senate voted Wednesday to prosecute suspended President Dilma Rousseff who is accused of violating tax regulations in the administration of the federal budget in the led up to the 2014 elections.
The 59-21 vote came after 15 hours of debate and far surpassed the simple majority of 54 votes needed by lawmakers who advocated for the trial to decide whether Rousseff will be permanently removed from office.
Congress will meet later this month for the impeachment trail, sometime after the end of the Olympic Games that are scheduled to end Aug. 21.
The session will last between three and five days and in the final phase Congress will again hear from witnesses.
The result of the vote Wednesday was expected after the Senate in May voted to suspend Rousseff for 180 days. Vice President Michel Temer took over leadership of the country as interim president.
Temer, who is also under investigation for corruption, was severely criticized for initially appointing an all white male Cabinet. Three members have since resigned on corruption charges.
Rousseff has denied the allegations against her and said predecessors have taken similar measures to calculate federal budgets.
She has also said efforts to depose her are part or a coup and a plot to obstruct an investigation involving state-run oil giant Petrobras that has seen the arrest of high-profile politicians and businessmen.
If Rousseff is dismissed from office, her term that expires Jan. 1, 2019, will be completed by Temer.
The political crisis in Brazil has been compounded by a severe economic downturn. The country’s economy, the largest in South in America and the Caribbean, is going through one of its worst depressions in decades.