Brazil’s Senate on Wednesday voted to oust President Dilma Rousseff from office, the conclusion of a yearlong political struggle.
The 61-20 vote was more than the 54 of the 81 votes required to set the impeachment in motion. Another vote to ban her from public office for the next eight years failed.
Her vice president, Michel Temer, was immediately sworn in as president.
Rousseff’s allies have vowed to fight her removal and appeal the resolution in court.
Rousseff was Brazil’s first female president and was reelected in 2014. She is accused of breaking fiscal laws in her management of the federal budget.
“The Senate has found that the president of the federal republic of Brazil, Dilma Vana Rousseff, committed crimes in breaking fiscal laws,” said Chief Justice Ricardo Lewandowski, who presided over the trial.
Opposition lawmakers argued that the maneuvers masked deep deficits from high spending which ultimately aggravated the country’s recession.
Rousseff fought the impeachment, declaring her innocence.
“Today is the day that 61 men, many of them charged and corrupt, threw 54 million Brazilian votes in the garbage,” Rousseff tweeted minutes after the decision.
In the background of the entire battle is a vast investigation into billions of dollars in bribes at the state’s Petrobras oil company. The two-year probe has led to the imprisonment of tens of businessmen and politicians, and ironically threatens many of the same lawmakers who voted to remove Rousseff. Rousseff was never implicated in the graft.
Her replacement, Temer, is widely unpopular. When he announced the opening of the Olympics he was raucously booed and remained out of sight for the remainder of the games. Several polls have shown that Brazilians prefer new elections.
Late Wednesday night, a group of Rousseff supporters smashed windows in the city of Sao Paulo and damaged cars. Anti-riot police work to suppress the riot crowd dispersal ordinance.
The country’s future economic and political stability are shrouded in uncertainty.
By: World Israel News Staff
AP contributed to this report.