Three parties abandon Brazil president as impeachment vote nears
RIO DE JANEIRO, (AP):
President Dilma Rousseff's chances of surviving impeachment are growing slimmer now that three parties have decamped from her governing coalition in 24 hours and Brazilian legislators begin preparing for a crucial vote on the question expected this weekend.
The pullouts of the mid-size centrist parties caused despondency among members of Rousseff' left-leaning Workers' Party ahead of the vote expected Sunday in the Chamber of Deputies. That vote will determine whether the impeachment process moves ahead based on allegations that Rousseff's administration violated fiscal rules.
The pro-impeachment camp needs two-thirds of the 513 votes in the lower house, or 342 votes, to send the proceedings to the Senate for a possible trial. According to a tally by the newspaper Folha de S. Paulo, 284 legislators have come out for impeachment, while 114 are opposed and 115 are undecided.
While the outcome is still too close to call, the pullouts by the majority of the 36 deputies for the Social Democratic Party, the Progressive Party with 47 deputies and the Brazilian Republican Party with 22 legislators made it that much harder for Rousseff to defeat the vote.