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Brazil’s President down after Senate votes to put her on trial

rossefBrazil’s President Dilma Rousseff set to bow out after Senate votes to put her on trial

Brazil’s Senate voted on Thursday to put leftist President Dilma Rousseff on trial in a historic decision brought on by a deep recession and a corruption scandal that will now confront her successor, Vice President Michel Temer.

With Rousseff to be suspended during the Senate trial for allegedly breaking budget rules, the centrist Temer will take the helm of a country that again finds itself mired in political and economic volatility after a recent decade of prosperity.

The 55-22 vote ends more than 13 years of rule by the left-wing Workers Party, which rose from Brazil’s labor movement and helped pull millions of people out of poverty before seeing many of its leaders tainted by corruption investigations.

Police briefly clashed with pro-Rousseff demonstrators in Brasilia during the vote, but the country was calm early Thursday

Rousseff, a 68-year-old economist and former member of a Marxist guerrilla group who was the country’s first woman president, is unlikely to be acquitted in a trial that could last as long as six months.

The scale of her defeat on Thursday showed the opposition already has the support it needs to reach a two-thirds majority required to convict Rousseff and remove her definitively from office.