Next steps in impeachment push against Brazilian president

AP News
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Posted: Apr 18, 2016 12:02 AM

Brazilian legislators pushing to remove President Dilma Rousseff for alleged fiscal irregularities won a major victory Sunday in the lower house of Congress, gaining a 367-137 vote in favor of her impeachment. A look at what happens now:

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NEXT STEP: The measure now goes to the Senate, which must decide if it will try Rousseff on the charges. The Senate president has said the body will take it up within a month, though no date has been set.

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FIRST SENATE DECISION: If by a simple majority, the Senate decides against taking up the measure, the impeachment push is over and Rousseff continues as president. If the Senate votes in favor, Rousseff will be suspended and Vice President Michel Temer will take over in the interim.

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SECOND SENATE DECISION: In the event the Senate does take up the measure, it will have up to 180 days to conduct a trial of Rousseff. To remove her from office, two-thirds of the 81 senators, or 54, would have to vote for her ouster. Below that threshold, Rousseff would be reinstated as president.

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ROUSSEFF'S OPTIONS: The president, who denies any wrongdoing, has repeatedly said she won't resign. She can appeal to the Supreme Federal Tribunal, Brazil's highest court, seeking to annul the process on the grounds that the accusations were faulty. Rousseff frequently notes she has not been charged with any crime. She could also lobby senators, though such courting did not work in the Chamber of Deputies.