Early this Friday, the lower chamber of Brazil’s Congress initiated a debate to decide whether to impeach President Dilma Rousseff with the crucial vote set for Sunday. Brazil’s Supreme Court voted to reject a motion to block an impeachment vote in the lower house of Congress against President Dilma Rousseff.

The debate in the lower house was based on the allegation that Rousseff violated fiscal rules to cover up budget problems due a bad administration of the government accounts. Rousseff’s defenders claim that there’s nothing illegal about what she’s done; in fact, according to them, previous presidents used similar techniques.

The special session ran past seven hours. Credit: TIME

Rousseff has been having a hard time: she has lost the support of important allies over the week and, as if it wasn’t enough, is dealing with the worst recession in decades, the outbreak of the Zika virus and a scandal at state oil company Petrobras.

The statements

The session began with the discussion to validate the procedures of impeachment vote by the Chamber of Deputies. Chief Justice Ricardo Lewandowski, in a statement, suggested that the court could look again at the impeachment proceeding in the near future, which was a proposal in favor of Rousseff.

“Impeachment is a political action, yes. But who said that political actions can’t be debated by the Judiciary?” said Lewandowski.

Lower house’s Speaker Eduardo Cunha, a rival of the president, arranged the vote so it could begin with the industrial and rich south legislator, because there’s where the opposition to Rousseff is strongest. Meanwhile, Cunha’s lawyer prepared a different plan to alternate between the south and the north, where the president has more support. The court took the decision to maintain Cunha’s plan.

Once the court made its decision, journalists asked Solicitor General, José Eduardo Cardozo, if Rousseff would keep on trying to block the vote set for Sunday.

“We are going to analyze this process step by step,” he answered.

He added that the government will discuss the merit at the Supreme Court when the time is right.

Both the government and opposition claim to have votes enough to assure the victory on Sunday. Brazilian media, on the other hand, suggest the opposition is more likely to win.

Two-thirds of the 513 votes in the lower house are what the pro-impeachment camp needs, or 342 votes to send the proceedings to the Senate for a possible trial; in which case, if the Senate approves it, Rousseff would have to step down until the measure was voted on.

Source: Fox News