The Brazilian Senate on Thursday morning impeached President Dilma Rousseff, obliging her to take a leave-of-absence for up to 180 days while a Senate trial is organized. The trial could result in her permanent removal from office. The Senate voted 55-22 in favor of impeachment. The Chamber of Deputies in April voted to impeach the President by a similar lopsided margin. Rousseff is accused of manipulating the federal budget and interfering in affairs of government-run banks. The Senate vote came in the early hours of Thursday after more than 20 hours of debate. The 55-22 vote represented more than two-thirds of the full 81-member Senate. A two-thirds vote is needed at trial to remove the President permanently. The lopsided vote Thursday led to calls from opposition leaders for Rousseff to resign rather than face an exhausting trial which will almost certainly result in her definitive removal from office. Vice President Michel Temer is due to take the reins of government later Thursday as Acting President. Thursday’s historic vote marked the second impeachment of a Brazilian President in modern times. In 1992, Congress impeached then President Fernando Collor de Mello, who resigned before his Senate trial was completed. He was succeeded by Vice President Itamar Franco.
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