Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 11th 2016 Contents A29
Thursday, August 11, 2016 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
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Greatness Awaits @
RIO DE JANEIRO---Brazil s Senate yester-
day voted overwhelmingly to put suspend-
ed President Dilma Rousseff on trial, bring-
ing the nation s first female president a
step closer to being permanently removed
and underscoring her failure to change
lawmakers minds the last several months.
After some 15 hours of debate, senators
voted 59-21 to put her on trial for breaking
fiscal rules in her managing of the federal
budget. It was final step before a trial and
vote on whether to definitively remove her
from office, expected later this month. The
political drama is playing out while Rio de
Janeiro is hosting the Olympic Games, which
run through August 21.
The outcome was widely expected: The
Senate already voted in May to impeach
and remove Rousseff from office for up to
180 days while the trial was prepared.
Yesterday s vote underscored that efforts
to remove her may have actually gained
steam despite her attempts to woo senators
who have expressed doubt about the gov-
erning ability of interim President Michel
Senators pushing for her removal only
needed a simple majority to call for the trial.
Not only did they get much more than that,
they also garnered an ample margin over
the super-majority---at least 54---they will
need to permanently remove her.
The situation does not look hopeful for
Rousseff, the first female president in Brazil.
Previous appeals to the Supreme Federal
Tribunal, the nation s top court, have failed.
And Rousseff s attempts to woo senators
and rebuild her own brand with voters have
apparently fallen short.
Temer, who was Rousseff s vice presi-
dent-turned-nemesis, took over after Rouss-
eff s May impeachment. He has been sharply
criticised for appointing a Cabinet of all
white men in a country where more than
50 per cent are non-white.
Venezuelan officials have set out the timetable
for a recall referendum on whether President
Nicolas Maduro should remain in power.
The Venezuelan opposition reacted angrily when
they heard they would only be allowed to collect
more petition signatures in late October.
Opposition leader Henrique Capriles said an
opposition march would go ahead in September.
A referendum defeat for Maduro this year would
trigger a presidential poll. But a recall vote next
year would see Maduro replaced by his vice-pres-
ident, meaning the Socialist party would remain
The National Electoral Council (CNE) president,
Tibisay Lucena, said the opposition would be autho-
rised in late October to try to collect petition sig-
natures from the 20 per cent of the country s voters,
or four million people, needed to start a recall ref-
erendum, on condition that "all the regulatory
requirements are fulfilled."
If the opposition was successful in gathering
these signatures, the CNE would have a month to
verify them. Lucena said electoral officials would
then have 90 days to schedule a referendum.
Constitutional experts say this appears to make
it unlikely a referendum would be held in January
as demanded by the opposition.
Election officials have already been accused of
stretching out the first phase of the recall referendum
where the opposition had to collect signatures from
one per cent of voters.
The opposition accuses the government of drag-
ging its feet while not totally rejecting the recall
Venezuela sets recall
Brazil Senate puts Rousseff on trial
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