D-day for Brazilian president Rousseff as senate to vote on impeachment

Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff is only hours from being suspended as an impeachment trial begins on Wednesday. Her government lawyer lodged a last-ditch appeal with the Supreme Court on Tuesday but it was unclear whether the court would respond in time. Barring a dramatic twist, the Senate was to start debating impeachment, with voting expected either late at night or in the early hours of Thursday. A majority of more than half of the senators in the 81-member chamber would trigger the opening of a trial and Rousseff’s automatic suspension for up to six months.

I am going to fight with all my strength, using all means available

Dilma Rousseff

The impeachment threat comes as Brazil suffers the worst recession in decades and a major bribery scandal at the state oil company Petrobras. Ms Rousseff, a left-wing former Marxist guerilla-turned-politician, is accused of fiddling government figures to make it appear the country was doing better than it really is. She denies any wrongdoing, claiming it is part of a plot by people within her own party to oust her. If the vote goes against her on Thursday, a second vote requiring a two-thirds majority will be needed to impeach her.

Dilma will be impeached for a variety of reasons. And the possibility of her coming back is zero

Marcos Troyjo, a professor at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs