Senate decides to put Rousseff on trial; pros and cons prepare next step
The Senate decides on May 12 by a vote of 55 to 22 in Brasilia to put President Dilma Rousseff on trial over her impeachment.
The first female head of state of Brazil is thus suspended from her duty for 180 days.
Centrist vice president Michel Temer becomes Acting President, terminating 13 years’ rule of the leftist Workers’ Party.
(Soundbite) Humberto Costa, Senator from the Workers’ Party
“We will continue (our fight) on the streets, defending our rights and denouncing the injustice. We will be on the streets, also fighting any intention to withdraw or eliminate workers’ rights. And with that, we will oppose in all fields, either in parliament or on streets, and demand justice if necessary.”
(Soundbite) Glesi Hoffman, Senator from the Workers’ Party
“I consider this phase as one of the most violent, which removes a president from office. I think if we have more time, we will convince more senators that this trial is not motivated by a crime of responsibility, but by political interests for the presidency of the republic.”
While the losers lament their Waterloo, the winners hail their victory and plans forward.
(Soundbite) Aécio Neves, Senator from opposition Democratic Socialist Party
“At this time, as the vice president assumes the presidency of the republic, we once again fulfill our responsibility. We will not give it back.”
(Soundbite) Raimundo Lira,Chairman of Senate’s Special Committee for Impeachment against President
“We will continue to work with the spirit of fairness and in a trans-partisan way, allowing all contradictions while not allowing crush of minority. Let’s complete a strictly democratic process with tranquility and serenity, as we did in the first phase of the Special Committee’s work.”
In at least three months, the Senate will finally decide whether Rousseff will be impeached over accusations of mismanagement of state budget.
If two-thirds of the 81 senators say yes, then the woman president’s political life is done.