RIO DE JANEIRO – Dilma Rousseff is about to be out of a job — at least temporarily.
An all-night Senate debate in Brazil ended with a decisive result: the country's first female president must step aside while an impeachment trial against her gets underway.
That means Rousseff could be on the sidelines, fighting for her political future, when the Olympics come to Latin America's largest country in August. Vice President Michel Temer will serve as interim president.
Speaking through the night, senators made their cases in a marathon session ahead of the electronic vote. Fifty-five of the 81 members of the upper house voted in favor of the motion early Thursday, with 22 voting against.
"IT'S A COUP," Rousseff wrote on Facebook Thursday morning, posting a quote from the attorney general to back up a claim she's been making for weeks as she mounts an aggressive defense in the court of public opinion.
The past few months have been a roller coaster for the embattled leader, who's accused of breaking budget laws. And while there are some procedural steps we know are coming, given the country's volatile political landscape, what will happen next is anyone's guess.
Rousseff retains her title as president by law, but she will not be fulfilling the duties of that office.
In the next few hours, Sen. Vicentinho Alves will deliver the Senate's decision to Rousseff at her presidential office.
There, she will sign a notification telling her she needs to step aside for the duration of the impeachment trial. Government ministers and other authorities are expected to be there, too — along with Rousseff's predecessor, former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
She will then address the media, and vacate the presidential office. Following that, she will return to the presidential residence, Palacio da Alvorada.