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Brazil Senate Explodes, Suspended as Rousseff Trial Hots Up

Brazil's Senate President Calheiros gestures to Senator Hoffmann during the trial. | Photo: Reuters Brazil's Senate President Calheiros gestures to Senator Hoffmann during the trial. | Photo: Reuters
BRAZILIA, August 26, 2016 - The Brazilian Senate was forced to suspend the second day of the final part of the impeachment trial against the suspended President Dilma Rousseff after a fiery session saw senators accuse each other of corruption and the president of the Senate lost control of the session.

The session was cancelled after 90 minutes and was forced to resume later in the day.

"If this continues it will be difficult for President Dilma to testify," said Renan Calheiros, president of the Senate and part of interim President Michel Temer's PMDB party.

"Brazil and the world will believe we're presenting the image that this discussion is being held in a psychiatric hospital," he added.

One of the main altercations broke out between Senator Lindbergh Farias from Rousseff's Workers Party, PT, and the right-wing senator of Goias, Ronaldo Caiado. Farias accused Caiado of falsely accusing him of corruption to which Caiado branded Farias a “stoner” and cocaine addict.

Senate President Calheiros lost control of the session when he strongly criticized PT Senator Gleisi Hoffmann, who publicly denounced the Senate Thursday of lacking the morality to even begin a trial against Rousseff.

In Friday's session, Calheiros accused Hoffmann of doublespeak, and pointed out that her husband—who is also a PT member—is under investigation for alleged fraud in loan payments.

President Rousseff will address the Senate on Monday, August 29, and present her defense in a 30-minute session that could be extended by the Head of the Supreme Court Ricardo Lewandowski.

Each senator will then have five minutes to question Rousseff, who in return can decide whether or not to answer the questions.

Several social and political organizations have vowed to organize a sit-in outside the Senate, where they will remain until Monday, to denounce the coup attempt and the interim government of Michel Temer.

Only 53 Senate votes are needed to remove Rousseff from office. If this happens then Temer, one of the leaders of the impeachment against Dilma, will continue to govern until 2018.

Last modified onSaturday, 27 August 2016 06:49

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