The Brazilian Chamber of Deputies voted Sunday night to impeach President Dilma Rousseff on corruption charges, sending the fate of the nation’s head of state on to the Senate.
With at least 342 of the lower chamber’s 513 deputies voting in favor, the proceedings move to the Senate, which can remove her and elevate Vice President Michel Temer to head of state.
“What an honor destiny has reserved for me!” yelled Socialist Democrat Bruno Araujo as he cast the 342nd “yes” vote to both cheers and jeers.
Outside the chamber and around Brazil, anti-government demonstrators burned Ms. Rousseff in effigy and greeted the vote with celebrations akin to Rio’s Carnival or a Brazilian World Cup victory.
If a simple majority in the Senate votes to impeach, even before the trial, Ms. Rousseff would be automatically suspended and Mr. Temer would become acting president.
While the Senate would then have 180 days to try her and reach a verdict, Senate leader Renan Calheiros has suggested to reporters that he would start proceedings within a month.
The vote in the lower house was denounced by members of Ms. Rousseff’s ruling Workers’ Party, and she herself has called the effort an illegitimate “coup”
Even as Jose Guimaraes, Ms. Rousseff’s party leader, conceded defeat in as the hours-long voting tally to try her, he vowed that the battle wasn’t over.
“This is just beginning,” he said. “It’s going to be a slow and gradual war that we’ll undertake.”
Legislators accuse Ms. Rousseff of using accounting tricks in the federal budget to spend money for shoring up her political support.
According to the Associated Press, Ms. Rousseff has said other Brazilian presidents have acted similarly and has noted that she has not been charged with any criminal counts in the energy-kickback scandal that has engulfed Brazilian politics for months.