President Dilma Rousseff has lost a key impeachment vote in the lower house but will fight back in court and in the Senate, a government leader in Congress said.
"We can turn the game around in Brazil’s Senate," Jose Guimaraes, Rousseff’s leader in the lower house, told reporters as the vote was wrapping up. The "coup mongers" were stronger, he said.
With 83 legislators left to vote, the opposition had garnered 316 votes in favor of impeachment. It needs at least 342 votes, or a two-thirds majority among 513 deputies, to send the motion to the Senate. Most analysts agree that if Rousseff were to lose Sunday, it would be very difficult for her to avoid being ousted in the Senate.
Financial markets have surged in recent weeks on the prospect that Vice President Michel Temer, 75, would take over the top job and revive the economy. An exchange-traded fund of Brazilian stocks jumped 4.5 percent at 10:28 a.m. in Tokyo.
The session is being broadcast live on public screens across the nation as thousands of protesters and government supporters rally in front of Congress.
Tens of thousands of the president’s supporters and detractors gathered to stage protests throughout the nation, with the two sides in the capital Brasilia separated by a metal barrier designed to prevent confrontations. Television images showed some backers of the president weeping, while newspaper Folha de S. Paulo published an image of Temer smiling as he watched the voting from home.