Brazil’s Lower House of Congress voted on Sunday night to impeach President Dilma Rousseff, who has been embroiled in a massive corruption scandal and has been widely blamed for the country’s economic woes. A total of 513 members of the Lower House voted, with 367 for the impeachment and 137 against, while the remaining did not vote. The voting took place amid pandemonium in the House, with Opposition members shouting “coup, coup, coup”, The Guardian reported.
The motion will now go to the 81-member Senate. Rousseff can appeal to the country’s highest courts against this, though her previous motions against impeachment have been dismissed. If the court does not stop the motion from going through to the Senate, Rousseff will be suspended for 180 days, and the government will be run temporarily by Vice President Michel Temer. According to The New York Times, experts believe the Upper House will oust Rousseff from office. For Rousseff to be impeached, a two-thirds majority is required when the Senate votes.This is Rousseff’s second term as the country’s first woman president. However, it has been marred by allegations of corruption and poor economic outlooks. The main case against her involves allegations that she transferred money from state banks to mask a massive budget deficit to boost her chances of re-election.
In March, hundreds of thousands of citizens took to the country’s streets, demanding Rousseff’s removal as president. However, some have questioned the grounds for impeachment, saying it is a disingenuous attempt to seize power, as several of the legislators who voted against her are themselves facing criminal corruption charges.