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Brazil Senate to open Rousseff's impeachment trial

Brazilian suspended President Dilma Rousseff participates in a rally of women in defense of democracy on July 8, 2016 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Photograph: (Getty)

WION Bras?lia - Federal District, Brazil Aug 25, 2016, 08.22 AM (IST)
The impeachment trial of Brazil's suspended president Dilma Rousseff will be opened today. The Senate will hear witnesses for and against Rousseff who has charges of breaking budget laws against her.

Brazil's first female president, Rousseff will appear before 81 senators on Monday. Her opponents are confident of having more than 54 votes needed to convict her.

The votes that came in late on Tuesday pointed towards Vice President Michel Temer taking over as Brazil's leader for the rest of the term upto 2018.

This will mark the end of a 13-year-long leftwing Workers Party (PT) rule.

Temer's right-leaning government expect at least 60 senators to vote against Rousseff.

The next president will face an uphill task of leading the country's economy out of its recession.

Charges against Rousseff include spending without Congressional approval and manipulating government accounts to disguise the extent of the deficit in the run-up to her 2014 re-election.

Financial markets have rallied on prospects of a more market friendly government, with the real currency rising around 30 per cent against the dollar this year.

Temer's team has sought to speed up the trial in order to begin the process of restoring confidence in the economy.

Once sworn in by the Senate, the next president is expected to address the nation before heading to the summit of the G20 group of leading economies in Hangzhou, China on September 4-5.

Rousseff, who earlier belonged to a left-wing guerrilla group, has refused to resign to "ensure that she is being ousted illegally."

"I committed no crime. To stop this happening again, I must go to the Senate to defend Brazil's democracy, the political views that I advocate and the legitimate rights of the Brazilian people," she said.

(WION with inputs from agencies)
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