BRASILIA The lower house of Brazil’s Congress voted on Tuesday to appoint a committee stacked with opponents of President Dilma Rousseff to report on whether to impeach her, a setback for the leftist leader who is battling for political survival.
In a secret ballot, lawmakers voted 272-199 for a list of committee members drawn up by the opposition and pro-impeachment members of the centrist Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB), Rousseff’s major ally in her governing coalition.
Although the outcome was a hard blow for Rousseff, the fact that 199 lawmakers voted for the pro-government list was an indication that she could nonetheless have the more than one-third of support necessary to block an eventual impeachment vote just before the full residence.
Her supporters in Congress plan to appeal to the Supreme Court against the secret voting process adopted by Speaker Eduardo Cunha, who permitted the option list to be presented.
Controversy more than the vote descended into chaos on the floor of the property, as some lawmakers outraged by the secret vote smashed an electronic voting urn and unplugged other folks, whilst pro-impeachment parties waved a flag in celebration of the win.
The committee will have the job of reporting on whether Rousseff committed an impeachable offense. Opponents who filed the impeachment motion that set the method in train accuse her of breaking budget rules to enhance spending during her re-election campaign final year. Rousseff has denied any wrong-carrying out.
If the committee finds an offense was committed, the method will go to a complete vote on the house floor, at which the opposition wants two thirds of the votes to commence a 180-day impeachment trial in the Senate. For the duration of that trial the president would be suspended and replaced by her vice president, Michel Temer.
(Reporting by Anthony Boadle Editing by Frances Kerry)