Brazil’s lower house voted to impeach the nation’s current president, Dilma Rousseff, on Sunday. The motion passed with 367 of 513 votes, 25 more than the required two thirds. The impeachment process will now be passed to the senate, which will most likely happen within weeks.
The calls for impeachment arose from the Petrobras corruption scandal that was brought to light after a 2 year investigation. The investigation exposed a system where the part-government owned multinational petroleum company Petrobras would inflate the price of construction contracts. The extra money was funneled into the accounts of Brazil’s political parties and was used to fund political.
After being implicated in the scandal, in addition to the nation entering the worst recession in a century, Rousseff saw her approval fall from 92% when she was re-elected in 2014 to only 10% of the public feel positive about her presidency.
More than 150 members of the nation’s parliament have been implicated in the scandal as well, the majority of them voting in favour of impeachment on sunday, though they have all been protected from the law because of their positions.
The process has been carried out on a background of mass protest from the Brazilian people. Tens of millions demonstrating in favour of not only the impeachment of the president but all the figures implicated. Many also believe the process is simply a coup attempt by Rousseff’s political opponents.