Brazil’s lower house green-lights presidential impeachment

The lower house of Brazil’s Congress ended three days of marathon debate in Brasilia on April 17 over the impeachment motion against President Dilma Rousseff.

The final tally was 367 votes cast in favor of impeachment, versus 137 against, and seven abstentions. Two lawmakers did not show up to vote.

The opposition comfortably surpassed the two-thirds majority needed to send Rousseff for trial in the Senate on charges of manipulating budget accounts.

If the Senate votes by a simple majority in early May to proceed with the impeachment, Rousseff will be suspended from her post.

She will be replaced by her vice president, pending her trial.

While the balloting was on, hundreds of demonstrators from both sides rallied in peace outside the Congress.

The political showdown apparently ripped apart the largest economy in Latin America and made its future more unpredictable.

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