Brazil’s lower house annuls Rousseff impeachment

Brazil’s lower house annuls Rousseff impeachment

Senate says vote in chamber will continue as scheduled

By Senabri Silvestre

SANTO DOMIMNGO, Rep. Dom. (AA) – The interim president of Brazil’s lower house of Congress on Monday annulled a vote that authorized an impeachment process against President Dilma Rousseff.

Waldir Maranhao accepted a request to void the vote in which 367 of 513 lawmakers voted in favor Rousseff´s impeachment.

“There were flaws that become null and void the meetings in question,” said Maranhao, who took office last week after the Supreme Court suspended Eduardo Cunha, the previous president of the lower house and who promoted impeachment.

Maranhao, who said political parties represented in the Chamber of Deputies guided the vote of its members, has called on members to repeat the procedure.

Its annulment had thrown into question a vote in the Senate later this week on whether to impeach Rousseff and being a political trial. But late Monday Senate President Renan Calheiros, rejected the suspension of proceedings for a trial against Rousseff.

He said Maranhao’s decision was "untimely" and that the vote in the chamber would take place Wednesday as scheduled.

Rousseff, who repeatedly has said the congressional action against her is an attempted "coup”, urged caution in front of the new measure, which the legal consequences are not readily known.

"We must continue to receive what is ongoing,” she said after learning of Maranhao's decision.

Rousseff is accused of violating fiscal rules to hide a budget deficit ahead of the 2014 presidential elections.

If a vote passes in the Senate, she will be suspended from office for up to 180 days while Vice President Michel Temer, who is also under investigation, assumes leadership of the country.

The Secretary General of the regional bloc Organization of American States, Luis Almagro, and the President of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, Roberto Caldas, have reiterated their position that efforts to remove Rousseff has no legal basis.

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