Senate ousts Brazil president

The Senate on Wednesday impeached Dilma Rousseff, Brazil’s first female president, and removed her from office for the rest of her term, the capstone of a power struggle that has consumed the nation for months and toppled one of the hemisphere’s most powerful political parties. The Senate voted 61 to 20 to convict Rousseff on charges of manipulating the budget to conceal the nation’s economic problems. In a second vote, Senators fell short of the two thirds majority required to bar her from office for eight years, with just 42 of the 81 members backing the move. Rousseff’s lawyer Jose Eduardo Cardozo said she will appeal her impeachment to the Supreme Court.

The final removal of Rousseff, who was suspended in May to face trial, was much more than a judgment of guilt on any charge. It was a verdict on her leadership and the slipping fortunes of Brazil. The impeachment puts a definitive end to 13 years of governance by leftist Workers’ Party, an era during which Brazil’s economy boomed, lifting millions into the middle class and raising the country’s profile on the global stage.

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