Written by Tharushan Fernando
01 Sep, 2016 | 10:31 am
Brazil’s Senate removed leftist President Dilma Rousseff from office yesterday for breaking budgetary laws, in an impeachment process that has polarized the Latin American country and paralyzed its politics for nine months.
Senators voted 61-20 to convict Rousseff for illegally using money from state banks to boost public spending.
Michel Temer, the former vice-president of Brazil, was officially sworn in as the new president of the nation, just hours after the impeachment of Rousseff.
Temur was inaugurated at a special session of Congress, after the sounding of the national anthem. He was accompanied by the president of the Supreme Court, Ricardo Lewandowski, the president of the Senate, Renan Calheiros, and the president of the Chamber of Deputies, Rodrigo Maia.
Temer is now expected to serve as president until the current term expires at the end of 2018.
Rousseff’s opponents hailed the removal of the former leftist guerrilla as paving the way for a change of fortunes for Brazil, some celebrating in Sao Paulo by toppling a large and grotesque blow up figure of Rousseff.
In an unexpected move, Brazil’s Senate voted 42-36 to allow Rousseff to retain the right to hold public office – in a break with Brazil law that specifies a dismissed president should be barred from holding any government job for eight years.
The move appeared to demonstrate unease among some senators, notably within Temer’s own fractious Brazilian Democratic Movement Party, over whether a budgetary sleight of hand that is common in Brazil was truly an impeachable offense.
Temer has vowed to boost an economy that has shrunk for six consecutive quarters and implement austerity measures to plug a record budget deficit, which cost Brazil its investment-grade credit rating last year.
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