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Brazil's Supreme Court rejects Rousseff’s last-minute impeachment appeal

Evaristo Sa, AFP| Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff gestures during the opening ceremony of the 4th National Policy Conference on Women in Brasilia on May 10, 2016.

Brazil’s Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected a petition from President Dilma Rousseff’s government lawyers to halt impeachment proceedings against her, as the Senate debated suspending her from office and putting her on trial.

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Justice Teori Zavascki “denied the petition to issue a stay suspending the process,” a court spokesman told AFP.

The decision all but erases the leftist leader’s hopes of avoiding a six-month suspension and trial for manipulating the government’s accounts.

It came down as the Senate held a marathon debate on impeachment, which was expected to end with a vote to suspend Rousseff for up to 180 days and put her on trial.

Rousseff, 68, had sought to halt the proceedings after the Supreme Court suspended the architect of the impeachment drive, lower house speaker Eduardo Cunha, on grounds that he tried to obstruct an investigation into his own alleged corruption.

In court papers filed by the attorney general, Brazil’s first woman president argued Cunha had used impeachment as a political weapon to wield against his opponents.

But the judge ruled the government’s case lacked “legal plausibility.”

(AFP)

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