The first vote from the house is in, and the impeachment vote has passed. This is really bad news for President Rousseff

The preliminary vote to impeach President Dilma Rousseff has passed through the house.

  • 367 memebrs of the house voted for impeachment
  • 137 voted against the motion
  • 7 memebers abstained, and 2 were absent for the vote

What does this mean?

This DOES NOT mean that the president is impeached. This was just a vote to decide whether an impeachment trial should proceed. The vote now goes to the Senate, they must decide if a trial should proceed.

  • If the Senate decides to continue, they are expected to suspend President Rousseff while the trial happens.
  • Only after a trial would she be formally impeached, but given how supporters have deserted her, this is an extremely likely scenario.

Should the Senate consider the motion, Ms Rousseff will be suspended for 180 days while the impeachment trial is going on.

  • The Vice-President Michel Temer will take over while the President is suspended
  • Vice-President Temer is also facing similar impeachment proceedings over similar allegations

The current President has decried the impeachment vote as an attempted “coup”. She has denied the allegations, and accuses those who voted against her as being hypocrites:

  • The Vice-President Michel Temer: facing similar impeachment proceedings
  • Eduardo Cunha: under investigation for perjury and corruption
  • Nixon Capixiba: Accused of money laundering
  • Paulo Maluf: on Interpol’s list for conspiracy
  • Silas Camara: under investigation for forging public documents and misappropriation of public funds
  • Around 150 deputies who have been accused or involved in some crimes

This was an impassioned debate, as a member of the house, Jair Bolsonaro, dedicated his vote to Carlos Brilhante Ustra, aka Dr Tibiriçá, who was a recognized torturer in defense of military dictatorship. This dedication led to a left-wing deputy Jean Wyllys to spit towards Deputy Bolsonaro.


Most people, in the recent weeks expected this impeachment to go ahead, as Rousseff’s coalition started to fall apart, and party after party deserted her.

Many Brazilians are elated that this has happened. They saw President Rousseff as a poor manager of the state and her party as corrupt. Now that Vice-PresidentTemer is taking over, they admit that Temer is not perfect, but is “the lesser of two evils”, as the charges that he is accused of are far less sinister than those of President Rousseff.


What exactly did the President do?

People are seeking her impeachment for numerous reasons, both explicitly illegal, actions that seem unethical (but are not illegal), and for her poor management of the economy.


  • A plea bargain from a senior executive of the construction firm Andrade Gutierrez led to the release of documents that showed illegal campaign donations from the company to Ms. Rousseff’s campaign.


  • She promoted dozens of people to commissioned posts in federal agencies in exchange for votes against her impeachment.
  • She nominated  former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, simply known as Lula, for a position as the Minister of the Civil House, which would render him immune from prosecution for an ongoing corruption investigation.


  • She presided over a deal for Petrobras, the state-owned oil company, to buy a refinery in Pasadena, California, for a total cost of around $1.2 billion USD, when it was reported to only be worth $180 million when they tried to sell the refinery a few years later. This buying price was required, as it was stipulated in the contract, something reportedly overlooked by Rousseff.
  • Due to her economic policies, Brazil finds itself in the midst of a deep recession.



Photo Credit: Flickr Renato GizziCC-ANC-2.0