Bid to speed up impeachment trial

Bid to speed up impeachment trial angers Rousseff’s supporters

Brasilia, June 3 (IANS) A proposal to accelerate suspended Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment trial was rejected on Thursday by her supporters in the Senate and impeded consensus on the schedule for the upper house proceedings.

The proposal by Sen. Simone Tebet of the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party, or PMDB, which is led by interim head of state Michel Temer, opens up the possibility that the trial could be concluded in mid-July as opposed to early August, EFE news agency reported.

The motion was accepted by a clear majority of the impeachment committee’s 21 senators but angrily opposed by the suspended president’s supporters.

The head of Rousseff’s defence team, Jose Eduardo Cardozo, was present at Thursday’s session and said Tebet’s proposal would “trample the constitution” and take away his client’s right to a proper defence.

Due to the lack of consensus, Brazil’s Supreme Court will decide the matter in the coming days.

Rousseff was suspended from office last month for allegedly purposely delaying the repayment of loans from state-owned banks and carrying out other fiscal maneuvers in 2014, when she won re-election, and in 2015 to disguise the size of the budget deficit.

If Rousseff is found guilty of violating budget laws, Temer would serve out the rest of her term, which expires on January 1, 2019.

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