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Brasília (AFP) – Brazil’s Dilma Rousseff was stripped of the country’s presidency in an impeachment vote Wednesday and replaced by her bitter rival Michel Temer, shifting Latin America’s biggest economy sharply to the right.
Rousseff, 68, was convicted by 61 of the 81 senators of illegally manipulating the national budget. The vote, which exceeded the needed two-thirds majority, meant the veteran leftist leader was immediately removed from office.
Three hours later, Temer – her center-right former vice president and one time crucial coalition partner whom she now accuses of orchestrating a coup against her – was sworn in. Speaking at a televised cabinet meeting afterwards, he promised to launch a “new era” in the crisis-stricken country as he serves out the rest of the current presidential mandate to 2018.
Speaking at the Alvorada presidential palace on the outskirts of the capital Brasilia, Rousseff, from the leftist Workers’ Party, condemned her forced exit. “They decided to interrupt the mandate of a president who had committed no crime. They have convicted an innocent person and carried out a parliamentary coup,” she said, defiantly vowing that she’d “be back.”