A special committee in Brazil’s Senate has approved a report recommending that President Dilma Rousseff should face an impeachment trial.
The panel voted 15 to five in favour of pushing ahead with the process. All 81 senators will have until Wednesday (May 11) to familiarise themselves with the report, before voting on whether or not the leader should be prosecuted.
“Honesty is our greatest obligation. We must also be responsible and competent and the government has failed at this,” declared Senator Gladson Cameli. “To conclude, senators, in the name of the progressive democracy bloc, we send a “yes” vote for the admissibility of the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff.”
The report purports to contain enough evidence to try Rousseff on charges she doctored Brazil’s fiscal accounts to hide a massive budget deficit ahead of her 2014 re-election.
Rousseff denies any wrongdoing.
“The original sin in this process cannot remain hidden,” she said, following the committee’s decision. “Then we will see who is benefitting from this process. For example, those who are, unfortunately, usurping power. Unfortunately, the vice president of the Republic is an accomplice in this dangerous process.”
If the majority of senators vote in favour of prosecution, Rousseff will be suspended for the duration of her trial, which could last up to 180 days.