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Brazil’s Senate begins final impeachment hearing

August 30, 16:59 UTC+3 RIO DE JANEIRO
Brazil’s suspended President Dilma Rousseff is accused of breaking budget laws
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© AP Photo/Eraldo Peres

RIO DE JANEIRO, August 30. /TASS/. The decisive hearing on impeaching Brazil’s suspended President Dilma Rousseff began at the upper house of parliament, the Federal Senate, in Brasilia on Tuesday.

The lawmakers will announce their decision in the coming 17 hours. A two-thirds majority -54 senators - is needed to support the initiative to remove Rousseff from presidency.

The representatives of the defense and prosecution will address the lawmakers first. Each side will once again detail their arguments during 1.5 hours. Rousseff’s lawyers will have another hour to comment. Before the vote the senators will have a chance to deliver their speech for no longer than 10 minutes.

On Monday, Rousseff addressed the Senate in a last chance to defend herself from charges of breaking budget law. In her address, Rousseff called the initiative on her resignation a state coup."I am calling on the senators: do not support the coup. It will not help resolving the crisis in Brazil but will only deepen it."

Rousseff’s opponents say the impeachment process is motivated by her alleged financial transgressions during the first months of her second term. She is accused of failing to consult with parliament prior to enacting the budget and also delaying payments to state banks. No corruption charges were made against Rousseff.

Rousseff, the country’s first female president who took office in 2011, has repeatedly defended her innocence, claiming the impeachment process is politically motivated.

Should Rousseff be impeached, Vice President Michel Temer, who currently is Brazil’s acting president, will remain in power until the 2018 elections. If the number of impeachment supporters is less than the threshold requirement, then Rousseff will immediately return to the president’s office.

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