RIO DE JANEIRO, August 30 /TASS/. The final vote on impeachment of Brazil’s suspended President Dilma Rousseff may be postponed until Wednesday, August 31, Ricardo Lewandowski, Chairman of Brazil’s Supreme Federal Court, said on Tuesday.
"If possible, I am ready to stage the vote today. But I do not think we will have enough time. We will have to put off the vote until the next day. The process will be over tomorrow," Lewandowski, the chief coordinator of the impeachment process under the country’s constitution, said.
He explained that the counsel for the defense and the counsel for the prosecution as well as all the senators wishing to present their arguments on Rousseff’s impeachment were supposed to deliver their speeches in parliament prior to the vote, and that could be the main reason behind the delay. For the moment, 65 lawmakers have said they would like to take the floor.
Members of the Federal Senate (parliament’s upper chamber) are supposed to pass the final decision on Rousseff’s resignation at a session, which began on Tuesday. The debates before the final vote are expected to last for about 17 hours.
Alleged financial fraud during the first months of Rousseff’s second term in office is the impeachment supporters’ chief motive. They are accusing Rousseff of signing several decrees on the allocation of state funds without prior consultations with parliament and delaying payments to state banks. The opposition considers it as an attempt to conceal the budget deficit. Rousseff considers herself to be innocent and has called the impeachment initiative to be political-motivated.
In her address to the Federal Senate (the Brazilian parliament’s upper chamber) a day earlier, on Monday, Rousseff called the initiative on her resignation a state coup.
Rousseff will have to step down if at least two thirds of the Senate (54% - TASS) vote for her impeachment. In that case, Vice-President Michel Temer will continue to be the acting head of state until the end of 2018. If the senators vote against the impeachment, Rousseff will return to her presidential duties.
The Sunday survey, which the Globu newspaper carried out among the senators, revealed that 53 lawmakers intended to vote for the impeachment compared to 18 who said they would vote against the initiative. Another ten senators refused to comment on the upcoming vote.