Brazil Impeachment: How This Weekend's Crucial Vote May Unfold

Brazil Markets Rally on Rousseff Impeachment Prospect

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff’s political future hangs on a vote that is scheduled to take place Sunday in the lower house of Congress. 

The session, set to be televised live, may not be the end of Rousseff’s impeachment process, which will move to the Senate should two-thirds of the 513 lower house deputies give it the green light. Many analysts say it will be difficult for the government to block the motion in the Senate if it passes through the lower house.

Related: A quick guide on how impeachment works

Rousseff has been losing allies over the past few days, despite former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s efforts to secure votes in exchange for government jobs. For the most recent survey of voting conducted by top local newspapers, click:

Here’s how voting in the lower house is expected to unfold over the next few days:

Friday, April 15

  • Session starts at 8:55 a.m. local time and is expected to continue overnight.
  • Authors of impeachment request and Rousseff’s defense will have 25 minutes each to deliver their arguments.
  • Each of the 25 parties in the lower house will have one hour to deliver their speeches, with as many as five party members allowed to speak.

Saturday, April 16

  • Session starts at 11 a.m., with no set time to wrap up.
  • Lawmakers who are registered to speak will have three minutes each to deliver their remarks.
  • All of the 513 lower house deputies are allowed to sign up to talk; speakers will alternate between critics and proponents of the impeachment during the session.

Sunday, April 17

  • Session starts at 2 p.m. and is expected to be concluded by 9-10 p.m., according to lower house speaker Eduardo Cunha.
  • Each of the 513 lower house deputies will have 10 seconds to declare their vote in a session that will be broadcast live.
  • Lawmakers from Brazil’s northern and southern regions will alternate when casting their votes, lower house speaker Cunha said on Thursday, reversing an earlier decision to start with southern states, where most congressmen are in favor of impeachment.

Post Vote: What Comes Next

  • If the lower house votes “yes” on impeachment, the process moves to the Senate where a special committee will prepare a report recommending whether senators should accept it, and start official impeachment hearings, or reject it.
  • If the lower house votes “no,” the process dies there. Other impeachment requests, however, have been filed and could still be accepted by the lower house chief, starting the process all over again.
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