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
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