Brazil’s Senate voted on Wednesday to indict Dilma Rousseff on budgetary manipulation charges. The impeachment trial will be the last stage to officially remove Rousseff from office, putting an end to the rule of the Workers Party. A final vote will be held at the end of the month.

The Senate took the decision in the context of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio. The 16-hour session that began on Tuesday ended up with 59 votes against 21 to begin an impeachment trial. Rousseff has been accused of breaking the country’s budget laws. The session only needed a simple majority (54 votes) to begin the last phase in the impeachment trial against Rousseff. The embattled President would be convicted once the impeachment trial ends.

Dilma Rousseff
If Rousseff is permanently ousted from office, interim President Michel Temer will serve until 2018. Image credit:

After Wednesday’s vote, President Temer expressed his intentions of moving fully ahead to face Brazil’s fiscal crisis. He expressed his intentions of designing a plan to cap public spending and enact pension reforms.

President Temer (Rousseff’s conservative former vice president) is unpopular among Brazilians. During his attendance at the Olympic Games opening ceremony, the leader was booed by the crowd. Brazil’s Senate decision shows that Rousseff has been losing support after May 12, when the Senate voted 55-22 to suspend her as ruling president.

Since removed from charge, Rousseff has denied budgetary manipulation accusations and has denounced her impeachment as a right-party conspiracy to illegally oust the Workers party. She has argued that the left party has worked throughout 13 years on behalf of the Brazil’s poor factions.

Workers Party Senator, Jorge Viana, said during a parole in Wednesday’s session that there is not such trial. He said Rousseff will face a sentence that has already been written by elite opponents of social welfare gains.

Viana’s supporters have argued that Rousseff is being ousted and convicted by politicians who are involved in the Petrobras scandal.They have stated that those who are being investigated for receiving money from the state oil company need a head to be cut, to hide themselves from the spotlight.

Bernie Sanders supports Rousseff

Brazil’s embattled President has received international support. Bernie Sanders, the former U.S. Democratic presidential candidate, released on Monday a statement to condemn efforts to remove Rousseff from office.

Sanders has pointed out that Rousseff was democratically elected by Brazilians and her suspension has only increased distrusts from Brazil’s voters and international observers about governmental functions in the country.

According to Sanders, some actions have threatened Brazilians’ rights. After Rousseff was suspended from office. Those actions put in risk the social balance that was already established in the country, he added.

Bernie Sanders Rousseff
Sanders expressed concerns about the impeachment process, which he describes as a coup d’état. Image credit: The Associated Press.

“After suspending Brazil’s first female president on dubious grounds, without a mandate to govern, the new interim government abolished the ministry of women, racial equality and human rights. They immediately replaced a diverse and representative administration with a cabinet made up entirely of white men,” wrote Sanders in the statement.

The politician called on the United States Administration to take a definitive stand in the Rousseff’s impeachment. He added that actions taken by the Brazilian Senate do not seem to be related to a legal trial, but to a political process to oust her.

Sanders added that The United States cannot play a passive role while the Brazil’s democratic system is being attacked by factions encouraged by power’s ambition.

The Vermont Sen. proposed the U.S. to demand democratic elections in Brazil as a way to dissolve the dispute that has affected Brazil’s economic, democratic and social aspects.

“The United States cannot sit silently while the democratic institutions of one of our most important allies are undermined. We must stand up for the working families of Brazil and demand that this dispute be settled with democratic elections,” remarked Sanders.

Source: Sanders Newsroom