09 May 2016

Another Bag Full of Cats on the World Stage

This time, it's Brazil:
The Brazilian Senate has vowed to vote on the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff despite a ruling that a vote in the lower house was flawed.

Senate Speaker Renan Calheiros rejected the attempt by Waldir Maranhao, the lower house's acting speaker, to halt the process.

Mr Maranhao had called for a new vote in the lower house.

But to boos and cheers in the Senate, Speaker Renan Calheiros called that decision illegal.

The Senate is scheduled to vote on Wednesday on whether to start an impeachment trial.

The president of the Senate impeachment commission also said the vote would take place as scheduled.

If Ms Rousseff loses, she will be suspended from office, pending a trial that could last six months. She faces allegations that her government violated fiscal rules.

In his decision, Mr Maranhao said there had been irregularities during the lower house session in which its members overwhelmingly voted in favour of the impeachment process going ahead.

He said members of the lower house should not have publicly announced what their position was prior to the vote, and that it had been wrong of party leaders to instruct their members how to vote.

Mr Maranhao called for a new vote in the lower house.


Mr Maranhao, who opposed the impeachment process in the 17 April vote, only took over as the speaker of the lower house last week, after the previous speaker, Eduardo Cunha, was suspended.

Mr Cunha, an outspoken critic of President Rousseff, led the impeachment drive against her.
The level of dysfunction here makes makes the Lewinski affair look like a Schoolhouse Rock episode.


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