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Brazil's Senate begins final phase of Rousseff trial

Brazil's Senate begins final phase of Rousseff trial
Vote expected next week on president’s political future

By Senabri SilvestreSANTO DOMINGO, Dom. Rep. (AA) – Brazil’s Senate on Thursday began the final phase of a political trial that could remove President Dilma Rousseff from office next week.The session is being led by Supreme Court President Ricardo Lewandowski with the presence of 28 members of the Upper House of Congress, the O Globo newspaper reported.Witnesses testimonies will be heard Thursday in a session that “does not have time to finish”, according to Lewandowski.Rousseff is expected to present her defense sometime next week before a final vote on her political fate is held by the full Senate.A total of 54 votes are needed to remove Rousseff from office, a figure within reach considering 51 of 81 senators indicated in a recent poll they would vote in favor for removal.Only 19 said they would support the suspended president and 11 refrained from answering, according to the O Globo survey.The democratically-elected president was suspended in May to face a political trial for alleged violations of fiscal rules to hide a budget deficit ahead of the 2014 presidential elections.The charges are “crimes of responsibility” and not criminal but administrative sanctions that could strip her from her post.If Rousseff is removed, interim President Michel Temer will remain in his current position until elections are held in 2018 -- the end of Rousseff’s term.Should Rousseff survive the vote, she would recover her position and Temer would go back to his position as vice president.Rousseff, who has maintained her innocence reiterated Wednesday that her impeachment is "a farce" woven by the economic "elite" who want conquests of social classes.She said economic powers are trying to implement neoliberal policies to privatize “everything they can” and submit Brazilian sovereignty to the big capitals.

source: News Feed
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