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Brazilian President suspended, to face impeachment

12 May 2016 | By Achin Garg

The Brazilian Senate voted 55-22 in favour of impeaching President Dilma Rousseff after a 22-hour long debate in the Senate.

Vice President, Michel Temer of Centre-right PMBD party will take over as the interim President ending over a decade of leftist rule in Brazil.

Now, Dilma will face an impeachment trial over the next few months after which the Senate will decide her fate.

In context: Dilma Rousseff's impeachment

Dilma Dilam Rousseff: The 'Iron Lady' of Brazil

Dilma Rousseff is the first woman to be elected as the President of Brazil. She came to power in 2011.

Rousseff first came to prominence as the protege of Brazil's beloved former President Lula.

Nicknamed "Iron Lady", Rousseff was re-elected in a tight runoff last year.

Despite the re-election, her popularity has slumped amidst a corruption scandal involving the state-owned oil giant, Petrobras.

Car WashWhat is Operation Car Wash?

The investigation, Operation Lava Jato or Car Wash, was launched by Brazilian Judge, Sergio Moro in March 2014.

Investigators alleged firms and businessmen bribed corrupt officials in order to secure lucrative oil and gas contracts with state-run Petrobras oil company.

The scandal involved client companies overcharging Petrobras for contracts, and paying part of their illicit gains as kickbacks to Petrobras executives and Brazilian politicians.

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4 Mar 2016How it all began?

Police officials raided the home of former Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on 4th March, as part of an ongoing investigation, "Operation Car Wash", over a corruption scandal in the state-run oil company, Petrobras.

He was alleged to have received kickbacks and favours in return for contracts.

He was detained in a police station and released after 3 hours of questioning.

10 Mar 2016Scandal funded Workers' Party campaigns

Prosecutors alleged that Lula's Workers' Party partly financed its election campaigns through these kickbacks and Lula got a client firm, Construtora OAS, to renovate his beachfront villa in exchange for favours.

Ruling Brazilian President Dilma, who belongs to Workers Party, was the Chairperson of Petrobras's board of directors during 2003-10 when the alleged corruption scandal occurred.

However, she denied any knowledge of the scandal.

Mar 2016Rousseff appoints Lula as her Chief of Staff

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff appointed her predecessor Lula da Silva, as her new chief of staff to provide him immunity from prosecution in the federal courts in the ongoing "Operation Car Wash" corruption probe.

Under the Brazilian constitution, Cabinet members can only be tried by the Brazilian Supreme Court.

However, his appointment was stopped by the federal court as it could affect the investigation.

Apr 2016Public protest mounts, impeachment proceedings to begin

Huge crowds took to the streets across Brazil calling for President Dilma Rousseff's resignation over allegations of corruption.

Meanwhile, a Congressional Committee had recommended the impeachment of Brazilian President on the charges that she manipulated government account to hide a growing deficit.

Embattled Brazilian President branded her Vice-President as a traitor and alleged that a coup is underway to remove her from the office.

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9 May 2016Lower house votes for impeaching Dilma

The members of the lower house of Congress overwhelmingly voted in favour of impeaching the Brazilian President.

However, the Brazilian Supreme court suspended lower house speaker, Eduardo Cunha over charges that he tried obstructing corruption investigation against him in Petrobras scandal.

In a surprise move, deputy Speaker Walter Maranhao who took charge as acting speaker, annulled the impeachment vote in the lower house.

10 May 2016Impeachment process back on track amidst drama

Acting Speaker Maranhao's decision led to an uncertainty over the continuation of the impeachment process.

However, the Senate Speaker, Renan Calheiros, called Maranhao's decision as illegal and said that Senate voting would happen as planned.

After a few hours, even Maranhao revoked his earlier decision of annulling the voting.

The impeachment process was back on track and Senate voting would decide Dilma's fate.

12 May 2016Brazilian President suspended, to face impeachment

11 Jun 2016Pro-Rousseff protests across Brazil

Thousands of supporters of embattled Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff have taken to the streets across the nation, demanding that impeachment proceedings against her be stopped.

Vagner Freitas, head of Brazil's largest trade union CUT said the purpose of the protests was "stopping the impeachment, stopping the coup."

Major protests were held in Sao Paulo, Rio, Belo Horizonte, Brasilia and Recife.