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The Latest: Brazil Senate debates impeachment of president

Guards stand outside the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil, Wednesday, May 11, 2016. Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff is facing possible impeachment by Congress, with the Senate expected to vote today on a measure to suspend her. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)
May 11, 2016 - 6:06 AM

RIO DE JANEIRO - The Latest on the debate and vote in Brazil's Senate on the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff (all times local):

9:50 a.m.

Brazil's Senate has kicked off a session that's expected to culminate in in a vote on whether to impeach President Dilma Rousseff.

If a simple majority of the 81 senators vote in favour, Rousseff will be suspended from office and Vice-President Michel Temer will take over for up to six months pending a decision on whether to remove her from office permanently.

Senate President Renan Calheiros has said he wants the vote to happen Wednesday night.

The impeachment hinges on allegations Rousseff violated fiscal rules in handling the federal budget. But it's also become largely a referendum on her presidency amid a deep recession and a vast kickback scheme in state oil company Petrobras.

Rousseff denies any wrongdoing and insists the impeachment amounts to a "coup" aimed at removing her left-leaning Workers' Party, in power for 13 years.

News from © The Associated Press, 2016
The Associated Press

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