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Iran Press TV

Brazil House Speaker annuls Rousseff impeachment

Iran Press TV

Mon May 9, 2016 5:26PM

The acting speaker of the lower house of Brazil's Congress has annulled last month's vote on impeachment, delaying the process against embattled President Dilma Rousseff.

Waldir Maranhao, who took on last week as Brazil's acting Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, issued the order on Monday, preventing the Senate from voting on the impeachment which was launched in April after endorsement by house members.

Maranhao said in his surprise order that a new vote should take place on whether to impeach Rousseff, adding that there were procedural flaws in the April 17 vote in the chamber that endorsed impeachment charges against Rousseff. The speaker said in his news release that the Senate should return the process to the lower house.

On Friday, a Senate Committee recommended before the vote, which had been planned for Wednesday, that Rousseff should be put on trial for breaking budget laws.

It was not clear whether the full chamber or Brazil's Supreme Court could overturn the shock order by Maranhao.

Markets, however, acted negatively to the news and fell sharply.

Rousseff reacted to the news, urging her supporters to cautiously "defend democracy."

"I don't know the consequences. Please be cautious," Rousseff said when she interrupted a speech and said she'd just got unconfirmed news of her impeachment hitting a roadblock.

Brazil has been the scene of a major political turmoil over the past months, with embattled Rousseff intensively fighting for her political survival against opposition congressmen, who aggressively seek her ouster, saying she illegally manipulated government budget accounts during her 2014 reelection battle. Rousseff has denied any wrongdoing and keeps calling the charges and the impeachment motion as an attempted coup against her legitimate government.

The order on Monday could prevent a major power vacuum in Brazil as Rousseff would face a suspension of up to six months if the impeachment had passed the Senate.

Maranhao became acting house speaker just last week, replacing Eduardo Cunha, the long-serving speaker and the architect of the controversial impeachment drive, who himself was forced by the Supreme Court to stand down over corruption charges.

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