The Latest: Brazilian legislators vote to impeach Rousseff


BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) — The Latest on the attempt in Brazil’s Congress to impeach President Dilma Rousseff (all times local):

11:10 p.m.

Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies has voted to impeach President Dilma Rousseff, delivering a major blow to a long-embattled leader who has repeatedly argued the push against her was a “coup.”

Rousseff is accused of using accounting tricks in managing the federal budget to maintain spending and shore up support. She has said previous presidents have used similar maneuvers and stressed that she has not been charged with any crimes or implicated in any corruption scandals.

However, she failed to secure the support she needed, and lawmakers in the lower house voted to oust her.

With at least 342 of 513 deputies, or 2/3, voting in favor of impeachment, the measure passed late Sunday. Several lawmakers had yet to vote, so the final tally could be even wider for the opposition.

The measure now goes to the Senate. If by a simple majority the Senate votes to take it up and put the president on trial, Rousseff will be suspended.

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10:20 p.m.

The leader of the government coalition in Brazil’s lower house of Congress is conceding defeat in trying to fend off the impeachment vote against President Dilma Rousseff.

Chamber of Deputies member Jose Guimaraes made the comments late Sunday as the opposition approached victory but still had not reached the threshold of votes needed to adopt the impeachment measure.

About 4 1/2 four hours into voting, the pro-impeachment camp is leading 307 to 107.

If 342 of the lower house’s 513 lawmakers vote in favor, the proceedings move to the Senate. There, a separate vote to hold a trial could suspend Rousseff and hand over the top job to Vice President Michel Temer.

Guimaraes, who is a member of the president’s Workers’ Party, says that Temer doesn’t have the legitimacy to govern and that the fight is just beginning.

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9:05 p.m.

Legislators pushing to impeach Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff are approaching victory, with a wide margin more than half way through the voting in the Chamber of Deputies.

More than two hours into voting, the pro-impeachment camp is leading 236 to 84.

If 342 of the lower house’s 513 lawmakers vote in favor, the proceedings move to the Senate. There a separate vote to hold a trial could suspend Rousseff and hand over the top job to Vice President Michel Temer.

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5:50 p.m.

Legislators in Brazil’s lower Chamber of Deputies have begun voting on a measure to impeach President Dilma Rousseff.

Rousseff is accused of using accounting tricks in the federal budget to shore up support for her struggling government. Rousseff denies wrongdoing.

Eduardo Cunha, the house speaker leading the impeachment fight against Rousseff, is calling on the 512 other legislators one by one to vote.

If 342 of the lower house’s 513 lawmakers vote in favor, the proceedings move to the Senate, where a separate vote to hold a trial could suspend Rousseff and hand over the top job to Vice President Michel Temer. Rousseff has accused Temer in recent days of being part of the push against her.

If lawmakers vote against impeachment, this bid to oust Rousseff will be dead and any subsequent effort would have to start over from scratch.

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2:50 p.m.

Impeachment proceedings against President Dilma Rousseff have kicked off in Brasilia and demonstrations for and against the government are happening in other Brazilian cities.

In Rio de Janeiro, several thousand government supporters are rallying on Copacabana Beach.

The lower Chamber of Deputies is expected to vote Sunday on whether to impeach Rousseff for allegedly breaking fiscal rules in her handling of the budget. Rousseff denies wrongdoing.

Retiree Jader Alves says that if Rousseff is impeached, he’ll be back on the streets. In his words, “My president was elected in 2014 and she will remain in office until 2018, no matter what.”

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2:10 p.m.

Brazil’s lower house of Congress has begun a session on whether to impeach President Dilma Rousseff for allegedly breaking fiscal rule in her management of the budget.

A vote is expected later in the day.

House Speaker Eduardo Cunha has opened Sunday’s session with a speech outlining the accusations against Rousseff. He’s been leading the drive for impeachment.

Rousseff says she has done nothing wrong and notes she has not been charged with a crime. She and her supporters have argued that opponents are staging a “coup” against a democratically elected government.

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1: 20 p.m.

Several thousand protesters are arriving in Brazil’s capital ahead of an expected vote in Congress on whether to impeach Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff.

In attempts to keep things peaceful, authorities have set up a wall that traverses the esplanade in front of Congress. The wall is over a mile (kilometer) long.

Supporters of Rousseff are being directed to one side while detractors pushing for her impeachment are going to the other side.

A vote in the lower Chamber of Deputies is expected later Sunday.

Rousseff is accused of using sleight-of-hand accounting techniques to hide deficits and shore up support for her embattled government. Rousseff says she has done nothing wrong and notes she has not been charged with a crime.

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