Brazilian congress votes to impeach president

Senate will next vote on whether to pursue an impeachment trial.

Shoshana Miskin,

Brazilian flags
Brazilian flags
Photo: Flash 90

Brazilian legislators voted on Sunday to approve the impeachment of Dilma Rousseff, the nation's first female president.

The Lower House deputies voted 367-137 surpassing the necessary 342 votes to move the impeachment proceedings to the Senate. The upper house will now decide in coming days whether Rousseff should stand trial for allegedly violating Brazil’s budget laws.

If a majority approves it there, Rousseff will have to step down for 180 days to defend herself in an impeachment trial. During that time, the administration will be temporarily replaced by vice-president Michel Temer.

Should the Senate motion be approved, Rousseff could be suspended as early as May – about three months before the Summer Olympics are set to take place in Rio de Janeiro, an event that intended to showcase Brazil as a rising power on the global stage.