Brazil President Dilma Rousseff impeached by Senate

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Dilma Rousseff sits during a question from a Senator on the Senate floor during her impeachment trial on August 29, 2016 in Brasilia, Brasil.Dilma Rousseff appeared in the Senate on Monday to defend herself and her record

Brazil’s Senate has voted to remove President Dilma Rousseff from office for manipulating the budget.

It puts an end to 13 years in power of her left-wing Workers’ Party. Ms Rousseff denies the charges.

Sixty-one senators voted in favour of her impeachment and 20 against, meeting the two-thirds majority needed to remove her from the presidency.

Acting President Michel Temer will serve out Ms Rousseff’s term, which ends on 1 January 2019.

Ms Rousseff had been suspended in May after the Senate voted to go ahead with the impeachment process.

Infographic showing the stages taken to remove Rousseff from office

She was accused of moving funds between government budgets, which is illegal under Brazilian law.

Her critics said she was trying to plug deficit holes in popular social programmes to boost her chances of being re-elected for a second term in October 2014.

Picture of the Senate's plenary session taken during the impeachment vote against suspended President Dilma Rousseff, at the Senate in Brasilia, on August 31, 2016.
Senators voted in favour of impeaching Ms Rousseff

Ms Rousseff fought the allegations, which she said amounted to a coup d’etat.

She argued that her right-wing political rivals had been trying to remove her from office ever since she was re-elected.

Dilma Rousseff

Dilma Rousseff delivers a speech on December 2, 2015 at Planalto Palace in Brasilia.
  • Born in 1947, grew up in an upper middle class household in Belo Horizonte
  • Her father was Bulgarian immigrant and an ex-communist
  • Joined left-wing movement against Brazil’s military dictatorship which had seized power in 1964
  • Detained in 1970 and imprisoned for three years
  • Subjected to torture including electric shocks for her role in the underground resistance
  • Came to political prominence as the protege of Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who governed Brazil from 2003 to 2011
  • Sworn in as Brazil’s first female president in 2011
  • Re-elected to a second term in 2014
  • Impeached on 31 August 2016

“From the day after I was elected, several measures were taken to destabilise my government. And you have been systematically making accusations against me,” she said when she defended herself in the Senate on Monday.

She said that she was being ousted because she had allowed a wide-ranging corruption investigation to go ahead which resulted in many high-profile politicians being charged.

Analysis by Daniel Gallas, BBC South Americas Business Correspondent

Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment trial in the Senate has raised important questions about Brazil’s democratic institutions.

Was she ousted for having committed a crime – or was that just a pretext to remove a president who had lost control of the economy and politics?

Her fiscal manoeuvres were thoroughly examined during the sessions, but it was not just that which was on trial.

Her government policies, her U-turn on the economy after the election and corruption in her party were constantly part of the debate.

Also, as the trial unfolded, Michel Temer’s interim government started its work reforming the economy and outlining new policies.

Senators – and Brazilians – knew that the question of condemning Ms Rousseff went beyond just deciding technically whether she was guilty or not.

But senators who voted in favour of her impeachment said it was Ms Rousseff and the Workers’ Party who were corrupt and needed to go.

Brazilians have been divided on the issue, with many expressing their support and loyalty to Ms Rousseff while others have taken part in large demonstrations demanding that she stand down.

A supporter of Dilma Rousseff, her mouth covered with a sticker that reads in Portuguese;
Supporters of Ms Rousseff have held protests against Michel Temer, who has been acting president since Ms Rousseff was suspended
A pro-impeachment demonstrator holds a cardboard coffin painted with the name of Dilma Rousseff during a protest in front of the National Congress, in Brasilia, Brazil, August 30, 2016
But there have also been marches by critics of Ms Rousseff, who claim her government is dead

Mr Temer, who will govern until 1 January 2019, has promised to boost Brazil’s economy, which is going through its longest and deepest recession in the past quarter of a century.

His critics have already warned that he plans to cut many of the popular social programmes introduced by the Workers’ Party.

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