Brazil’s Rousseff lacks Senate votes to defeat impeachment- senator

by Reuters  |  published on March 21, 2016

Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff attends a news conference at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil March 16, 2016. REUTERS/Adriano Machado

Brazil’s ruling coalition lacks the votes in the Senate to defeat a request to remove left-leaning President Dilma Rousseff from office if it is approved by the lower house, a senior senator in the coalition’s largest party said on Sunday.

The leading member of the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB), who asked not to be identified because of the sensitive nature of the issue, told Reuters the coalition could not rally the one-third of votes needed in the 81-seat Senate to stop Rousseff being dismissed.

On Sunday, Estadao newspaper quoted sources close to Senate Speaker Renan Calheiros, also a member of the PMDB, as saying he believed that if the lower house approves the ongoing impeachment process it would create an unstoppable wave of support for removing Rousseff.

A spokesman for Calheiros was not immediately available for comment.

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