Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies (the lower house of Congress) has voted to impeach Dilma Rousseff. This was the first, and arguably most difficult, step in the process.
That said, it’s not the final step in impeachment, though it may be the most difficult. Now, the process goes to the Senate, where senators will decide whether to proceed with the impeachment hearings. Whereas the Chamber of Deputies needed a 2/3 vote, the Senate just needs a simple majority to continue the process. If they vote to continue the impeachment process, Dilma will have to step down for 180 days as the Senate conducts the trial. It will take a 2/3 vote in the Senate to remove her from office. In the event the impeachment continues, Vice President Michel Temer (who faces his own allegations of corruption, with much more evidence than there ever was against Dilma) now assumes the presidency.
And of course, given how many voted for impeachment for things like “my family,” “god,” “against children changing sexes in school” (really), “for peace in Jerusalem,” (no – really), and many other causes not remotely related to the pedaladas fiscais that were (supposed to be) the basis for impeachment, it’s not impossible that an appeal to the court system could lead to an overturn of the vote, given how few addressed the actual issue behind the impeachment charge.
I’ll have more tomorrow, but for now, suffice to say, all those who voted “yes” likely thought they were making history, and they weren’t wrong; what side of history their vote will fall on remains less certain.