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Brazil impeachment committee backs ousting President Rousseff

In a major blow for Brazil President Dilma Rousseff, Brazilian congressional committee has recommended her impeachment, paving the way for a vote in the lower house to decide whether the president should face trial.

Brazil impeachment committee backs ousting President Rousseff

The committee voted 38 to 27 in favor of Rousseff's ouster. The voting was done after hours of debate in the lower house. The debate often turned into shouting matches. Rousseff is accused of fiddling accounts to hide the real condition of the government budget during her 2014 re-election.
It is notable that the decision taken by the committee is non-binding. "It was a victory for the Brazilian people," said opposition deputy Jovair Arantes, predicting the result would carry with "strong" pro-impeachment momentum into the full chamber's vote.

In the Chamber of Deputies, Rousseff's case will go to the Senate of it gets a two-thirds majority. The Senate would then have the power to put her on trial and force her to leave the office. Anything less would not do any harm to Rousseff, who is making all efforts to garner enough anti-impeachment votes or persuade deputies to abstain.

A survey of the 513 lower house deputies by the Estadao daily on Monday showed 298 in favor - still short of the 342 needed to carry the motion - with 119 opposed and 96 undecided. Pro-government deputy Silvio Costa said he was confident. "The opposition is very arrogant" after the committee victory, he said.

If the Senate takes up the case after being confirmed by the lower house, Rousseff would have to resign for up to 180 days while a trial is held. Vice President Michel Temer, who has shifted allegiance to the opposition, would take the reins. Temer would also take charge as president if a two-thirds majority in the Senate votes to depose Rousseff.