Dilma impeached; loses power

SHARE   |   Thursday, 01 September 2016   |   By Afp
Dilma impeached; loses power

STRUGGLE FINALLY OVER: Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff attends the final session of her impeachment trial in the capital, Brasilia, earlier this week.
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Brazil's Dilma Rousseff was stripped of the country's presidency yesterday in a senate impeachment vote, ending 13 years of leftist rule in Latin America's biggest economy.
Rousseff, 68, was convicted by 61 of the 81 senators of illegally manipulating the budget. The vote meant she was immediately removed from office. Cheers - and cries of disappointment - erupted in the blue-carpeted, circular chamber as the verdict flashed up on the electronic voting screen. Pro-impeachment senators burst into the national anthem, some waving Brazilian flags, while allies of Rousseff stood by stone-faced.
"I will not associate my name to this infamy," read a sign held up by one senator. Brazil's first female president, holed up in the presidential palace in the capital Brasilia with close aides, was expected to make a statement soon after the vote.
Her vice-president-turned-political foe, Michel Temer, will be sworn in as her replacement.
The veteran centre-right politician, whom Rousseff accuses of using the impeachment process to mount a coup, was then to leave for the G20 summit in China.
 Numsa protest ‘to defeat attempted coup’ in Brazil
About 50 leftist demonstrators gathered outside the presidential palace to show their support.
"We are protesting against the coup," said Orlando Ribeiro, 61.
Police said they were preparing for large protests later in the day.
Rousseff, from the leftist Workers Party, is accused of taking illegal state loans to patch budget holes in 2014, masking the country's problems as it slid into its deepest recession in decades.
She told the senate during a 14-hour session on Monday that she was innocent and that abuse of the impeachment process put Brazil's democracy, restored in 1985 after a 20-year-long military dictatorship, at risk.
 Brazil's Rousseff to take stand at impeachment trial
Recalling how she was tortured and imprisoned in the 1970s for belonging to a leftist guerrilla group, Rousseff urged Brazil's senators to "vote against impeachment, vote for democracy. Do not accept a coup."
However, huge anti-Rousseff demonstrations over the past year have reflected anger at her management of a country suffering double-digit inflation. Temer, 75, who was in an uncomfortable partnership with Rousseff, will be president until the next elections in 2018.