Senators vote 55-22 to impeach Brazil president Rousseff

Latin America

Brazil Political Crisis An opposition deputy raises a sign that reads in Portuguese “Impeachment Now” in front of the voting score board during the session on whether or not to impeachment President Dilma Rousseff, in Brasilia, Brazil, Sunday, April 17, 2016. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)

Brazil’s new interim president Michel Temer presented his new cabinet on Thursday as the country’s Senate voted to impeach President Dilma Rousseff, a move that temporarily removes her from office while a trial is conducted.

CCTV’s Paulo Cabral reports.

Senators vote 55-22 to impeach Brazil president Rousseff

Brazil’s new interim president Michel Temer presented his new cabinet on Thursday as the country’s Senate voted to impeach President Dilma Rousseff, a move that temporarily removes her from office while a trial is conducted.

Brazil’s Senate voted earlier in the day to impeach Rousseff after a months-long fight that laid raw the country’s fury over corruption and economic decay, hurling Latin America’s largest country into political turmoil just months before it hosts the Summer Olympics.

Rousseff’s enraged backers called the move a coup d’etat and threatened wide-scale protests and strikes.  In a televised speech to the country Rousseff remained defiant in the face of impeachment, saying “Never will I stop fighting.”

She appeared publicly for the first time since the Senate voted to impeach and suspend her, calling the process “fraudulent” and “a coup.”

She says it’s been cooked up by opponents eager to snatch the power and roll back social programs.   

BRAZIL-CRISIS-IMPEACHMENT-ROUSSEFF

Brazil’s suspended President Dilma Rousseff makes a statement next to her mother Dilma Jane Coimbra(R) at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia on May 12, 2016.
Rousseff said Thursday that democracy and the constitution are at stake after she was forced to face an impeachment trial in the Senate and cede power to vice president Michel Temer. / AFP PHOTO / EVARISTO SA

Rousseff is comparing the pain of being impeached to the torture she suffered under the country’s past military dictatorship.

She says at a news conference that “it’s the most brutal of things that can happen to a human being — to be condemned for a crime you didn’t commit.”

In her words, “I may have committed errors but I never committed crimes.”

Her foes, meanwhile, insisted that she had broken the law, and that the country’s deep political, social and economic woes could only be tackled with her on the sidelines.

During the debate, Senator Fernando Collor de Mello, who was Brazil’s first democratically elected president after a more than two decade-long military dictatorship until he resigned on the eve of the conclusion of the impeachment proceedings against him, split his 15 minutes between defending his own record and attacking Rousseff.

The attorney general of the republic, Jose Eduardo Cardozo made an emotional speech in defence of the president just before the senate vote.

The 55-22 vote means that Rousseff’s ally-turned-enemy, former Vice President Temer, is now acting president. Temer has suggested he’ll slash the number of Cabinet posts to 22.

The Senate has 180 days to conduct a trial and decide whether Rousseff should be permanently removed from office.

Just hours after the vote that suspended Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, her entire Cabinet was dismissed.

The G1 internet portal of the Globo television network says notice of the dismissal of the 27 ministers has appeared in Thursday’s edition of the government gazette.

Those sacked include former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Rousseff’s predecessor and mentor, whom she named as her chief of staff in March.


Kiratiana Freelon talks about the Brazil impeachment trail

For more on the impeachment trial in Brazil and the future of Dilma Rousseff, CCTV America’s Asieh Namdar spoke with Kiratiana Freelon, a journalist and researcher working in Brazil.

Kiratiana Freelon talks about the Brazil impeachment trail

For more on the impeachment trial in Brazil and the future of Dilma Rousseff, CCTV America’s Asieh Namdar spoke with Kiratiana Freelon, a journalist and researcher working in Brazil.


Mauricio Moura on the impact of the impeachment on Brazil’s economy

To take a look at how Brazil’s economy will fair during the impeachment vote, CCTV America’s Rachelle Akuffo spoke with Mauricio Moura, managing director of IDEIA and professor of political strategy at George Washington University.

Mauricio Moura on the impact of the impeachment on Brazil’s economy

To take a look at how Brazil’s economy will fair during the impeachment vote, CCTV America’s Rachelle Akuffo spoke with Mauricio Moura, managing director of IDEIA and professor of political strategy at George Washington University.


Sam Cowie discusses the future of Brazil

For more on the direction of Brazil following the impeachment vote of Dilma Rouseff, Mike Walter spoke with freelance journalist Sam Cowie.

Sam Cowie discusses the future of Brazil

For more on the direction of Brazil following the impeachment vote of Dilma Rouseff, Mike Walter spoke with freelance journalist Sam Cowie.